Sterling asks Manchester City to be more ruthless after Leicester scare

Guardiola's team made to fight for Boxing Day win despite leading 4-0

Raheem Sterling urged Manchester City to be more ruthless after Leicester made an unexpected comeback in a nine-goal Boxing Day thriller.

The Premier League leaders had to dig deep before prevailing 6-3 in an encounter manager Pep Guardiola said his team were not in control even when ahead by four goals.

City had raced to a 4-0 lead within 25 minutes before conceding three. Late goals from Aymeric Laporte and Sterling - his second of the game - finally secured the game.

Sterling said the result was a wake-up call for the champions.

"It was a game we needed to finish off," the England forward, who has now scored eight goals in 10 appearances, was quoted as saying by the Press Association.

"It was a good [first] 45 [minutes] but these are games we have got to put to bed. That is the challenge. We have got to keep that concentration and in the first 20 minutes of the second half we didn't have that.

"We are disappointed to concede those goals but we kept the focus, kept trying to play and got the result we needed in the end."

It was Manchester City's ninth win in succession took them six points clear at the top of the table.

"It has been a decent start so far," Sterling added. "We need to keep the focus and go into the new year with the same mentality. We need to keep going and that is all we can do."

Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring inside five minutes and Riyad Mahrez added a second from the penalty spot after Youri Tielemans fouled Laporte.

Ilkay Gundogan tapped in a third and Sterling fired home City's second penalty after he himself was brought down. The Foxes hit back after the break with James Maddison pulling one back. Ademola Lookman grabbed another and Kelechi Iheanacho reduced the deficit before City pulled ahead.

"They countered us and we got punished," said Sterling. "Every time they attacked, they created chances.

"But we are happy we got the win in the end and we want to keep that going. It is nine games [in a row] in the Premier League now."

Updated: December 27th 2021, 4:01 PM