Bournemouth (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling travels to Bournemouth on Saturday aiming to help his team find a much-needed lethal touch in front of goal.
Pep Guardiola’s side dominated their opening two games of the season, but in both their 2-0 win at Brighton and the 1-1 draw with Everton, City failed to turn territorial dominance into a deluge of goals.
Against Brighton, City had 78 per cent possession and 14 shots, scoring on two of them.
In the Everton clash, City enjoyed 65 per cent possession and 19 shots, but the only goal came from substitute Sterling.
“We’ve just got to be a bit more clinical. That’s what is missing. We’ve got to move on and go again,” Sterling said.
“We’re always up for the work. We always work for each other.
“It’s always great to see, when you go down to 10 men, the boys running and keeping the ball and attacking on all fronts. It’s a credit to the boys and the gaffer with his tactics.”
England international Sterling saved the day against Everton with a superb late equaliser.
But after scoring only seven times last season, he appears to face a tough battle if he is to win a regular place among a squad that has an embarrassment of attacking riches, on paper at least.
Sterling admitted he needed to score the equaliser to make amends for an earlier error.
“I’m really disappointed,” he said. “I had a chance earlier before that and I’ve got to hit the target.
“Luckily I got a second chance and put it away but it is those vital moments that are going to count.
“If I get that chance again, we win the game. We’ve just got to be a bit more clinical. That’s what was missing so we have to move on and go again.”
– ‘Massive underdogs’ –
City will be without England full-back Kyle Walker against Bournemouth after his red card in the Everton draw, although Sterling suggested the second of his team-mate’s two yellow cards was extremely harsh.
“I was disappointed to see a second yellow for Kyle. I don’t think it was a booking at all,” Sterling said.
Bournemouth are without a point or a goal from their opening two Premier League games and while the midweek League Cup victory over Championship side Birmingham City helped lift spirits, there is already a growing sense of concern at Dean Court.
“It’s vital,” said defender Steve Cook, when asked how important it is to get something from the City game.
“We don’t want to be going into two weeks without a game having no points, so it’s huge. It’s going to be a massive moment in our season.
“I know we are only three games in but it’s a huge game for us. We are going to be massive underdogs and hopefully we can make the most of that and impose ourselves on the game.
“We have lost to West Brom and Watford and no disrespect to those teams because they have beaten us, but they are the teams we need to be getting results against, especially at home.
“We’ve got Manchester City and Arsenal coming up in the league and it is going to get extremely hard.”