Raheem Sterling apologised after winning a penalty in comical circumstances in Manchester City’s 6-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium.
The first of City’s two spot-kicks – both converted by Gabriel Jesus – was awarded when Sterling fell over having stubbed his foot on the ground while trying to shoot, with nearby Shakhtar defender Mykola Matviyenko having not touched him.
Sterling told BT Sport: “I went to chip the ball and I don’t know what happened next.
“I ended up on the floor and turned around. I don’t think I felt contact, it was just my bad.
“I hit the floor and scuffed the floor. Apologies to the ref (Viktor Kassai) and apologies to Shakhtar.”
In his post-match press conference, City boss Pep Guardiola admitted “we realised immediately it was not a penalty”.
Guardiola was then asked if there was any obligation at all for Sterling to indicate to the referee that he knew the way he had fallen.
In his reply he made reference to the incident in last season’s 2-1 quarter-final second-leg defeat to Liverpool when City’s Leroy Sane had a goal incorrectly disallowed for offside after the ball was inadvertently played to him by Reds midfielder James Milner.
Guardiola said: “He could do that, yeah. But last season, Liverpool – Milner could say (about) the pass for the second goal in the 44th minute, (that) it was a legal goal.
“He could do that, but of course (referee Antonio) Mateu Lahoz didn’t want to concede that goal, so that’s why it happened.
“You could do that. We don’t like really to score a goal in that situation.
“VAR is what it is. The referees, I said a long time ago, must be helped. They want to make a good performance, they don’t want to make mistakes, but today the game is quick and fast and the players are more skilled.
“They must be helped because in the end it takes three, four, 10 seconds for someone to say it is no penalty. It is what it is.”
He added when then asked if a coach would ever tell a penalty-taker to pass the ball to the goalkeeper: “No. I’ve never said (that), no. But I’m young, so I will learn.”
City were 1-0 up through a David Silva finish when the incident occurred midway through the first half. Sterling subsequently made it 3-0 with a fine goal, before Jesus added his second spot-kick and then then wrapped up a hat-trick, either sided of a Riyad Mahrez strike.
While City have moved closer to qualifying for the last 16, they would have had a place confirmed if Hoffenheim had not scored a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at Lyon.
Guardiola, whose Premier League league leaders beat Southampton 6-1 on Sunday, said: “I am (very happy), really I am. We did again an incredible performance.
“It is a tough competition, the Champions League. Unfortunately we are not already qualified for the next stage but we are so close and we (will) try to keep and maintain that level.”
City have nine points in Group F, Lyon – who they face away next – have six, Hoffenheim have three and Shakhtar have two.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Raheem Sterling went into Manchester City’s Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday having produced a superb performance on his previous outing.
At the end of a week in which it is understood he verbally agreed a new deal with City, the forward netted two goals – taking his tally for the club to 50 – and was involved in the creation of three others in Sunday’s 6-1 Premier League thrashing of Southampton.
Here, we assesses how Sterling fared three days on as City thumped Shakhtar 6-0.
THAT PENALTY DECISION
After David Silva tapped in Riyad Mahrez’s delivery to put City 1-0 up, a bizarre moment then saw Sterling play a major role in the hosts doubling their advantage.
The England international latched on to Fernandinho’s pass, took the ball into the area and fell to the ground having kicked the turf as he tried to shoot, with nearby Shakhtar defender Mykola Matviyenko having not touched him.
Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai’s response, bringing about looks of disbelief on the faces of Shakhtar players, was to point to the spot, and Gabriel Jesus subsequently netted from 12 yards.
It was then thanks to some Sterling magic that City went 3-0 up as he converted his first shot of the match, in the 48th minute. The 23-year-old collected Oleksandr Zinchenko’s pass with his back to goal, turned and got away from a couple of Shakhtar players, advanced towards the edge of the box and sent a fine strike past keeper Andriy Pyatov.
He looked set to score again late on just before Jesus completed his hat-trick, touching the ball beyond Pyatov only to be thwarted by a great interception by Ismaily.
Sterling produced a number of nice touches in build-up play, with perhaps the best coming just after the half-hour mark when he played a delightful through-ball to Jesus who was unable to make the most of a great opportunity, seeing his shot blocked by Sergii Kryvtsov.
While he was not quite as lethal here as against Southampton and unquestionably had some luck when it came to the penalty, there is no doubt this was another very decent display from Sterling.
Jose Mourinho lauded his players after securing a stunning comeback victory that the Manchester United manager milked in front of the Juventus fans.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s magnificent volley had Juve on course for victory but it was the visitors who would land a stunning blow in a Champions League clash to cherish.
Juan Mata’s superb free-kick four minutes from time sent the visitors wild, but the best was yet to come as an Ashley Young free-kick was unwittingly bundled in at the back post by Juventus’ Alex Sandro to give United a last-gasp win.
The 2-1 victory is United’s latest memorable win in Turin and boosts their hopes of progressing from Group H to the knockout rounds.
“Probably when Manchester United had heroics here (in 2003), Manchester United was the best team,” Mourinho said.
“And they (Juventus) are a top team for many years now. They bought that player (Ronaldo), they want to win everything, they can win everything and we are a team where many of the players didn’t play big matches like this in the Champions League.
“So, it is a different situation but it is a fantastic victory for us – a victory that is not just about the points we lost at home, it is about the feeling of how well we played.
“And I think even if this game doesn’t end with a victory, I would have the same feeling that the team played really, really well from the first minute – I repeat – against a super team.”
Mourinho certainly lapped up the moment at the Allianz Stadium. A fortnight on from responding to inflammatory chants from the Juventus fans at Old Trafford by holding up three fingers, representing the treble he oversaw when manager at Inter Milan, he took to the pitch and cupped his ear at full-time.
Jose Mourinho has got the Juventus fans and players rattled at full time! 😬🤬— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 7, 2018
He's enjoyed that one A LOT! 🤫 pic.twitter.com/Gcmuyd3sDo
“Well, do you remember what they did to me? Well, the sign I made is actually not an offence,” Mourinho said.
“This is something more… I just wanted to hear them making comments again or not. Yes, before I said I would not do it but then I did (react).”
You can see why Mourinho got caught up in things on a night where he praised substitute Marouane Fellaini for making “the team alive again”.
The imposing midfielder made his presence felt as the winner went in, with victory injecting new life into their Champions League campaign and providing a great lift ahead of Sunday’s derby clash at Manchester City.
“I think we played this season against Chelsea and Juventus away, the two best teams that we faced this season, and we played very well in both,” Mourinho said. “Very well in both.
“In here, lucky to win in the last minute. Against Chelsea, unlucky not to win in last minute, but we played very, very well and this is what we want.
“We want to play well, we want to go to every stadium and it doesn’t matter the team and we play.
“Then, if they are better than us, they win. If they have more potential than us, they win. If we make mistakes and pay for the mistakes, we lose.
“But I want the feeling that it doesn’t matter where we go, we go to compete and I think this is a feeling that also the Manchester United supporters around the world want to have – switch on the television and it doesn’t matter where we play, they know we are going to compete.
“We will lose matches. Today we could lose, but that feeling of ‘we go to play, we go to try to win’.”
Juventus counterpart Massimiliano Allegri was naturally disappointed after falling to a late defeat on home turf.
“It’s a shame,” he said. “The team produced a good performance but were never able to put them to bed.
“There’s always a risk when you play against the top teams. We give away too many free-kicks in both wide and central areas.
“That said, we’re still top. We have two games left that we can use to ensure we win the group and go through to the last 16.”
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