Wednesday 18 July 2018

Pellegrini happy with Sterling show

Raheem Sterling (left) gets away from West Brom's James Chester on his Manchester City debut.
Raheem Sterling (left) gets away from West Brom's James Chester on his Manchester City debut.

Manuel Pellegrini believes Raheem Sterling will prove his worth after being overshadowed on his Manchester City debut.

The £49million forward played second fiddle to City's old guard as they eased to a comfortable 3-0 win at West Brom.

David Silva deflected in a Yaya Toure shot for the opener before the Ivorian left no doubt about the second goal, with Vincent Kompany's second-half heading giving City a deserved win in their opening Barclays Premier League game.

Sterling played 74 minutes at The Hawthorns before being replaced by Samir Nasri and was denied a debut goal by Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill when clean through.

But Pelegrini insisted he was happy with the 20-year-old's contribution after his first competitive action since his summer move from Liverpool.

He said: "I'm not disappointed because Raheem played 70 minutes very well. It is not easy for him to play a new style with new teammates, he worked a lot and he had two clear chances.

"If he continues to play like this I am sure he will be the player we bought."

Silva deflected in Toure's shot for the opening goal with the visitors' dressing room giving the Spain star the credit.

And Pellegrini reckons, after a stuttering season last year, Ivory Coast star Toure will shine again following a dominant display at The Hawthorns.

He said: "I always said last season it was a strange season for Yaya, he started with a lot of problems, the death of his brother, his agents. I think he was not focused on what he had to do last year.

"We spoke before the start of the season and I am very sure we will see the Yaya from two years ago. He is a very important player for us.

"I don't think Yaya deserved the amount of criticism he received last season.

"He is an important player for us. It is very difficult for a player when you have so many problems."

Saido Berahino saw a goal ruled out for offside and shot straight at Joe Hart while Albion debutant Rickie Lambert went close with a free kick.

But the Baggies were second best and boss Tony Pulis, who also gave James Chester and James McClean their debuts, took the blame for a defeat.

"I take responsibility for the way we set up. The fact we had Saido and Rickie up front together pulled us away from what we should do," he told Sky Sports. "I said to them afterwards I'd take responsibility.

"There are certain principles we have to stick by and work with to get results at this level and I went away from that. We created quite a few chances but we were far too loose as a team."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport