It’s now 11 games and counting, and Raheem Sterling has not scored a goal for Manchester City. The winger has been one of the most important players for the club in the last two seasons, helping the team win back-to-back Premier League titles. But the 25-year-old has endured a barren spell in front of goal for the last three months. He last found the back of the net against Wolves in a 3-2 loss at the Molineux. That was in December 2019.
Although he has sat out a couple of games due to injury in that time, failing to score a goal for this long is rather unusual. The issue was highlighted prior to the Manchester United game. It’s a fixture he has also failed to score in for 16 games. Asked about the statistic before the trip to Old Trafford, he seemed unperturbed, stressing the fact that he has already scored 20 times in all competitions this season.
”It happens,” he said.
”Before January I was at 20 goals, after I haven’t scored yet but I’m five goals away from beating my record from last season and so confident I will be able to do it.
”At first I wasn’t taking in that I hadn’t scored against [United] and then the last two years I have known the record and have started to think about it too much.
”Now I am not thinking about it. I know I am going to get a moment.”
He did get a moment in the game when he failed to connect with a cross that could have leveled the game in the second half. But it was not to be, on a day City could use a goal or two from his boots.
The focus is expected to be on the future now as City could face United again this season in the FA Cup if both sides progress from the quarter-finals.
Having already lifted the Carabao Cup for a third successive year, for the Blues, all efforts will be directed at winning the FA Cup and Champions League.
Sterling acknowledged that.
”Now it is the business end and we have a lot to fight for. We are one trophy down and confident we can go to do major things this season. It is just as special as always.
”If you are not winning trophies you will finish the season very disappointed. Our motivation is to win every trophy we are involved in.
”We can finish in the top four and win the other two cups. It could still be a successful season.”
City face a crucial Champions League second leg fixture against Real Madrid on March 17 and will meet Newcastle United in the quarter-final of the FA Cup four days later. It will be crucial for Sterling to regain his scoring touch in the encounters, so he can help the team progress in both competitions.