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Should Raheem Sterling opener for Man City have stood?

10 March 2019

Manchester City have moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory over Watford in Saturday's encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

Raheem Sterling grabbed a sensational second-half hat-trick, with his treble coming inside 13 minutes though his opener was the subject of controversy, being initially ruled out for offside before referee Paul Tierney awarded the goal after consulting with his assistant. The ball fell nicely for David Silva, who played it into the path of Mahrez and the Algeria worldwide squared it for Sterling to tap into an empty net for his second.

Watford substitute Gerard Deulofeu reduced the deficit midway through the second half - something Liverpool must now do on the Premier League ladder when they host Burnley at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool's American ownership were among those who urged the Premier League to investigate title rivals Manchester City over alleged financial cheating. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting "SPORTS" to 22840.

The US-based owners of Crystal Palace are also said to have been central to the calls for a probe, with American sports typically accustomed to strict financial guidelines and conduct.

"There should be an easy solution and next season there will be". Some clubs did not accept it.

Southampton's win meant the fight to avoid the last relegation spot also tightened.

If Sterling's first goal was controversial, the second was simple as he tapped in from little more than a yard out as Mahrez squared the ball across.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola apologised to his opposite number Javi Gracia - but only if the decision was wrong - and added: "At the beginning of the season, Manchester City voted to install the VAR this season". Sterling runs onto a long ball and Janmaat's touch rebounds against the winger and it goes into the net.

"The linesman has given offside but then goes over for a discussion with the assistant. [Sterling's] position and influence, I think is clear".

"Especially when at the time Watford were frustrating this Manchester City side in the first half".

Guardiola, though, was not gushing in his praise of the England winger.

City were the much better team in their game against the Hornets but the score remained goalless at half-time in what was a largely frustrating game for the home side.

"It is hard to understand why we changed so much from the first half to the second".

As if to offer Liverpool a glimpse of what might have been, Gracia sent on Deeney and Deulofeu in a double substitution and it took them just a matter of seconds to combine for a Watford goal.

Should Raheem Sterling opener for Man City have stood?