Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling has revealed that his opening goal in the 3-2 win against Manchester City was down to hard work on the training ground.
The 19-year-old was sent through on goal by Luis Suarez, and to many it looked as if the opportunity had gone before he dummied both Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart to calmly put Liverpool ahead in a crucial game in this season’s title race.
Sterling is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “I’ve been working day in, day out on my finishing, and when I get in the box, to take my time and make the right decision.
“Luckily, I made the right decision to go on by myself and take the shot. I’m really grateful that the team won again.
“In the goalscoring opportunity, I just had to take my time and be composed to finish it off. I was delighted to get the team 1-0 up. It was a great win by the boys.”
Not only was it his pace and awareness that allowed him to get into that position but a cool head on the biggest of occasions allowed him to finish off the move and give Liverpool the perfect start in the game that many viewed as a potential title decider.
It is not the only time that Sterling has demonstrated such coolness in front of goal – just take a look at the goal he scored at Southampton after being thrown into the action at St Mary’s, which delivered a knockout blow to the Saints and a big win at the start of March.
Some will have questioned whether the youngsters in the Liverpool squad can handle the pressure of the title race – but Sterling’s goal showed that he can, and that there is quite a mature head on the teenager’s shoulders.