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'It will go down to the wire' - Sterling expecting Liverpool to push Man City all the way in title race

6:30 PM GMT+8 15/04/2019
Raheem Sterling Manchester City 2018-19
The mercurial winger has been impressed by the Reds this season, but still expects the reigning champions to cross the finish line in first place

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has predicted that the title race will "go down to the wire" after another thrilling weekend of Premier League action.

Pep Guardiola's men secured a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace to return to the top of the league on Sunday , thanks to a Sterling double and a late Gabriel Jesus strike.

However, they were knocked back into second spot hours later, as Liverpool earned a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Anfield - with Sadio Mane grabbing the opener before Mohamed Salah fired home one of the goals of the season.

The Reds are now two points clear at the summit having played a game more than the defending champions, with just over a month of the 2018-19 campaign left to negotiate.

City's destiny is still in their own hands, but with Tottenham and Manchester United still to play in the coming weeks, there could yet be more twists and turns before the crown is handed over.

After another match-winning display against Palace, Sterling conceded that Liverpool have a "great squad", before insisting he is still confident City will ultimately come out on top.

“Yes, 100 per cent, the way Liverpool have been playing it will go down to the wire,” he began.

“I don’t see us slowing down now. Liverpool have a great squad, great self-belief, but so do we.”

The Citizens have won their last nine consecutive Premier League matches, which is a remarkable feat given their ongoing pursuit of silverware on four fronts .

Having already won the Carabao Cup, City are also into the FA Cup final and Champions League quarter-finals - as they chase an unprecedented quadruple.

Sterling's continued presence in the starting line up will be key to their chances of glory, but he was guilty of missing a guilt-edge chance before firing his brace against Palace.

The England star admitted he needlessly squandered the opportunity before adding that his mental strength was key to a quick resurgence in the game.

“I tried to be a bit too clever with the first one,” Sterling said. “But the game is 90 minutes and it was still 0-0, so I knew there would be more chances.

“When I was younger you always want to score your first opportunity and sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. You don’t beat yourself up.

“There are 80 minutes left, you just have to be ready for the next opportunity. That’s the mentality, just keep going and the chance will come.”

Next up for Guardiola's side is a crucial second leg in their European tie against Spurs at the Etihad Stadium, which they head into 1-0 down from the reverse fixture.

City host Spurs once again in the Premier League three days later, as the must-win fixtures start to come thick and fast with the season swiftly drawing to a close.