Football News

Raheem Sterling: I was happy for Liverpool, but league title trumps the UCL for Man City

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 17:48, 27 July 2019

Raheem Sterling has said that winning the league is more important to Manchester City than the Champions League.

Sterling’s former side Liverpool clinched their sixth European Cup last season after beating Spurs in Madrid. Whilst Sterling says he’s happy for them, he insists that the league title is his priority.

City vs the Champions League: Five things to know…

    • Despite a huge amount of domestic success, City are yet to win the Champions League.
    • A dramatic away goals defeat to Spurs last season saw them exit in the quarter-finals.
    • The furthest they’ve got was the semi-finals in 2016, losing to Real Madrid.
    • Pep has not won the Champions League since his Barcelona side did so in 2011.
    • City got knocked out by Liverpool in 2018, despite finishing 25 points above them in the league.

Speaking in an interview, Sterling said: “I was really happy for Liverpool, happy for some of the players I know to lift the Champions League.

“What we’ve done last season – every day, week in, week out – was exceptional. The Champions League is massive for us as a club but our most important thing is winning the Premier League. That’s our main objective going into this season.

“The Premier League is your bread and butter. The Champions League is the nicer-looking one, the most prestigious as people say, but every weekend you put in a shift. You’re going to tough places… you’re off to Crystal Palace, Burnley, it’s tough, you know. You put so much time into it. That’s why we cherish it.

“It’ll be harder than last season. To do this three times in a row is a massive challenge for us.”

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The only thing missing at City

Since Pep took over at the Etihad, City have become the undisputed kings of England. A magnificent season in 2017/18 saw them reach 100 points before fighting off one of the best runners-up in Premier League history, in Liverpool in 2018-19.

After achieving the domestic treble last season, City’s success was somewhat overshadowed by their failure in the Champions League again. A dramatic offside decision meant City crashed out on away goals after a 4-3 victory against Spurs at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola has often been criticised in recent times for failing to get his sides to replicate their domestic form in Europe. Despite Bayern being imperious in the Bundesliga, they only got as far as the semi-finals under the Spaniard.

However, if City continue to dominate England, a Champions League trophy can’t be far away.

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