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'The only thing that can stop us is ourselves' - Man City's Sterling confident ahead of Champions League final

22:30 BST 27/05/2021
Sterling Manchester City 2021
The says he expects to lift the trophy ahead of the European showdown despite recent defeats to Premier League rivals Chelsea

Raheem Sterling reckons Manchester City are unstoppable if they play at their best against Chelsea in Saturday’s Champions League final.

Pep Guardiola’s side are playing in the European showpiece for the first time in the club’s history having never got beyond the semi-finals before.

The England winger remains confident despite losing their last two matches to the Blues under Thomas Tuchel in the FA Cup semi-final and at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.

What’s been said?

“The only thing that can stop us is ourselves if I am honest,” the 26-year-old said.

“It is a game where I expect a difficult test, but at the same time I expect us to pull through.

“I think the camp is pretty relaxed. Being in finals before with this football club, that only gives you that experience of going into a final.”

A change of luck

Sterling hopes City’s Champions League luck has changed after a litany of controversial decisions have cost them in previous seasons.

The England winger was correctly robbed of a last-minute winner against Tottenham by VAR in 2019 but Spurs' decisive strike stood despite looking like it had struck Fernando Llorente’s arm.

City were also on the wrong side of an incorrect offside decision in the exit to Liverpool the previous year, while the Lyon defeat was also mired in controversy but Sterling believes the fortune has been going their way this season.

“In the past we haven’t had the rub of the green and the luck that we needed,” he added. “There have been games that we should have won and certain circumstances we haven’t. That is football at the end of the day and why we keep going and love it.

“This year, we played well and also had the luck that we needed.”

The biggest call in City’s run was in the first leg victory over Borussia Dortmund when Jude Bellingham’s goal at the Etihad Stadium was ruled out for a foul despite appearing to tackle goalkeeper Ederson cleanly.

City were also awarded a penalty in the second leg after Emre Can’s handball with Pep Guardiola’s in danger of going out on away goal’s rule while Paris St-Germain were unhappy with red cards for Idrissa Gueye and Angel di Maria in both legs of their semi-final defeat.

Further reading:

'It's a UCL final, but it's just another game for me' - Mahrez

Pep’s Odyssey: City boss ends 10 years in UCL exile

Man City chief quizzed on Messi links