England ace Raheem Sterling was the star of the show as Manchester City came from a goal behind to thrash Serie A side Atalanta 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
Sterling hit a hat-trick in 11 second-half minutes to take his tally to 12 from 13 games in all competitions as City continued their perfect Group C campaign.
Sterling’s brilliant display was backed up by a double by Sergio Aguero in a dominant performance that started off in disastrous fashion when Atalanta took an early lead from the penalty spot through Ruslan Malinovsky.
The only other black mark against the performance was youngster Phil Foden’s dismissal for a second bookable offense with just seven minutes to go.
“It was a really good result. The way Atalanta played created that,” City manager Pep Guardiola told UK broadcasters BT Sport after the game.
“It was man to man all over the stadium, it was not comfortable, we’re not used to playing against these teams.
“It was no surprise Atalanta finished third last season in Italy and even this season, they’re playing well, so it’s an incredible result. It’s three more points. One more win and we’ll be in the next stage.”
The City boss also had special words for Sterling, who has matured from a mercurial winger into a consistent goal threat for the Sky Blues.
“Raheem was brilliant,” said Guardiola.
“He could have scored one more. Not just with the ball, without the ball, he helps us a lot.”