Raheem Sterling says the correct use of VAR in Manchester City’s crushing win over West Ham negated the frustration over foiled goal celebrations.
City star Sterling scored three times as the Premier League champions commenced their title defence with an eventful 5-0 victory on Saturday.
The England international would also have registered an assist had the newly introduced technology not found him to be in a marginally offside position when squaring for an unmarked Gabriel Jesus in the second half.
VAR later worked to the away side’s benefit, enabling Sergio Aguero to score from a retaken penalty after Declan Rice encroached into the area to clear following Lukasz Fabianski’s save from the initial attempt.
“It’s a bit difficult during the game because you want the goal to stand,” Sterling told BT Sport when asked about Jesus’ disallowed strike.
“But at the end of the day, as long as the decision is right, that’s all that matters.”
Pitchside reaction from hat-trick hero @sterling7
— Manchester City (@ManCity) August 10, 2019
Sterling has now tallied four goals in his two competitive appearances this term, having netted against Liverpool during last weekend’s Community Shield.
The 24-year-old believes his superb start is the product of a dedicated focus on finishing in training.
“It’s something I’m trying to improve on,” Sterling said. “With the players we’ve got here – Gabriel, Sergio, Riyad [Mahrez] – there’s competition in training every day.
“It’s just a joy to put the ball in the back of the net and everyone here is trying to do that to help the team.
“It was quite difficult in the first half to get the cobwebs off.
“The breathing was heavy so some of the touches were sloppy, but once the team got into a rhythm you can find the passes easier and once that second goal went in things went a lot smoother and a lot more chances came.”
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