The Premier League returned this weekend but one thing has clearly not changed; Raheem Sterling is still a goal machine.
Dubbed a poor finished earlier on his career, the Manchester City and England forward is now very much a man to be relied on in front of goal, as proved in City’s first league game of the season.
Away at West Ham, a side fancied by some to be one of the most improved clubs in the league this season, there was at least some potential for an upset. But any concerns were eradicated as quickly as Raheem Sterling can run, as the pacey number seven netted a hat-trick in a 5-0 win.
He would have had an assist, too, but for VAR’s intervention in ruling out what would have been Gabriel Jesus’ second of the match. VAR actually caught as much of the headlines as Sterling’s hat-trick, ruling that a Sergio Aguero penalty should be retaken after encroachment on the penalty areas from Declan Rice.
However, those just in it for the football couldn’t have missed Sterling’s dominance. He was dangerous in possession every time that he saw the ball and his best finish, one lofted over West Ham’s Lukas Fabianski, was one of the goals of the weekend anywhere in Europe – even in VAR did make the celebrations a little muted.
Sterling has become one of the best players in a side that many consider to the best in the world. If he started his season like this, the potential of how his season could end is an exciting prospect for he and City fans alike.