What a night at the Etihad! City made it three for three in the Champions League as Raheem Sterling’s 11 minute second half hat-trick helped close the door on a spirited Atalanta side.
Pep Guardiola’s side had to fight back from going down a goal behind thanks to a first half brace from Sergio Aguero.
Then Sterling took the game over after the break, claiming a sterling hattie inside 11 minutes to go alongside his earlier assist to cap another superb individual display.
The only downsides on the night were a red card for Phil Foden, who was dismissed seven minutes from time after picking up two yellow cards and a knock to Rodri who had to be substituted just before the break.
A 5-1 win and we move.
On to the reaction:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
“All the credit is for him. He’s a guy whose physicality is incredible. He is so strong,” said Guardiola.
“Day after a game, he could play another.
“His regeneration is incredible; he can play both sides. He is an extraordinary player.”
And asked whether he felt Sterling could get even better yet, the boss said he felt the England international possessed the necessary desire.
“It depends on him. His desire, I think he has that. The desire to be better.”
“We knew he could do it. We thought it would be a game we could have opp to run. Phil has quality to make box to box, with his speed,” the City boss added.
“He is still young, with a lot to improve.
“He played so good. Every minute is more experience for his future. He played a high level.
“The way he played, (he is an) incredible player. He will know after one yellow card the need to be more careful.
“He is absolutely not going to be fined (for the red card). We have to pay him for the way he played!”
John Stones Reaction
“Going behind was difficult... There’s no point scoring goals if you let in easy ones. “
“The penalty is disappointing. I should have had four [goals], Riyad set me up and I was looking for him.”
“I had them on [shinpads], I just needed to fit them properly but time is of the essence and needed to get on.”
“We came up against a difficult team. I’m not sure the English fans know about Atalanta.
“We did our research and knew they were aggressive and they started off aggressive. We got a good goal at a good time and the lads did the rest...”
Great result tonight. Well done everyone C’mon City! Let’s keep pushing pic.twitter.com/tXdLmRdoEW— Fernandinho (@fernandinho) October 22, 2019