Raheem Sterling admits he was “quite lucky” to end Manchester City’s meeting with Arsenal as the match-winner, with the Blues winger conceding that he was not at his best.
Pep Guardiola’s side have not been as free-flowing as they would like in 2020-21, with many teams tipped to challenge for the Premier League title this season still searching for a spark.
City found the going tough at times in their latest outing, but took the lead inside 23 minutes and were able to claim enough control of proceedings from that point to see out a welcome victory.
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Sterling proved to be the difference on the day at the Etihad Stadium, as he rolled home a rebound after Bernd Leno parried into his path, but the England international feels there is more to come from him.
He told Sky Sports afterwards: “I felt I was quite lucky to get on the scoresheet. It was not one of my better games but I am just grateful to be able to help the team.”
Guardiola will feel that his side have more gears to go through as a collective, with the Blues still feeling their way into the season.
Sterling said: “We dropped points early on in the season so it was important to keep on winning.
“Coming back from the international break we knew we needed a good performance and to pick up points to kick-start the season. Today's result definitely gives us confidence.”
City have already dropped five points through four games this term, but do have key men such as Sergio Aguero returning from injury and are far from being the only ones to have hit an early bump in the road.
Sterling added to BBC Sport: “In the end we deserved the win. We kept it tight and compact and deserved the win.
“We haven't been quite as fluent this season but in the last couple of games have shown that fluency is coming back and it's great to keep the momentum going.
“When Sergio is on the field you know there can be a goal at any moment. He is vital to help us compete on all fronts and great to have him back.
“It's only October, we have seen plenty of shock results so far, but it's a long season so we have got to stay focused and build on today's result.”
City’s next outing will see them open their Champions League campaign, with the Blues set to take in a home date with Porto on Wednesday.