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Raheem Sterling’s moment of clarity lifts NFL-scarred Wembley spectacle | Barney Ronay

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The pitch looked terrible and the match was patchy but the Manchester City forward showed what a top performer he is

Raheem Sterling spent a fair amount of his childhood dodging potholes and wrong‑footing passers-by as he kicked a ball around Wembley. So no real change there on a strange night when Manchester City eked out a brittle, angsty 1-0 win against a brittle, angsty Tottenham team in front of a brittle, angsty Tottenham crowd.

It is hard to think of many stranger Premier League fixtures than this, though this 1-0 victory for the champions was strange in an understated, slightly dreamy kind of way. For most of the first half it was almost impossible to look past the wretched spectacle of the Wembley pitch, heavily scarred by the markings of the NFL game on Sunday night and appearing here like a jilted bride in its faded Super Bowl suit, still mourning that scuppered elopement with the man from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Related: Riyad Mahrez’s early goal enough for Manchester City to see off Spurs

Related: Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Manchester City: Premier League player ratings | Paul MacInnes

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