While City were always still expected to go and win the crown because of the huge advantage they had built up throughout the season, Sterling produced a flawless response with an impressive 3-1 win at Wembley. "You could see the difference in the attitude to players compared to last week", said the Portuguese coach.
City were dumped out of the Champions League by Liverpool and missed the chance to seal top spot against rivals Manchester United over the last week but Pep Guardiola's men put on a sizzling display at Wembley to get back to winning ways.
"It was a great hand-up from the boys, and a great win".
Three minutes later, Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris sent Sterling flying, although replays suggested the contact was just outside the area.
"The amount of goals, chances, points, to do that in the Premier League with the contenders that we have it is because the players are so, so good".
The 23-year-old, who scored the third against Spurs, says he has to take the criticism on the chin. These guys are fantastic, awesome - they are incredible.
"The last couple of weeks we've had chances - I've had chances - and made mistakes as well, and big teams will punish you. But the Premier League is one of the nicest and most important". "My private life is very hard for me but my son is fighting and getting better".
Tottenham were one of the teams that troubled City last season, with their aggressive pressing and high-tempo play. Six of the XI that lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool were 24 or under, underlining the sense that the best is yet to come from Guardiola's team.
A United victory would keep City's celebrations on hold for a few more days at least.
If Spurs were to add a fourth reversal to that run, then they would restore a 10-point advantage over Chelsea in the battle for top-four finishes.
City may well have to wait another week to start celebrating a third title in seven seasons although it could happen as soon as Sunday in the unlikely event of Manchester United losing at home to bottom club West Bromwich Albion.
"I have a day off so I'll probably be on my sofa chilling and watching the [United] game", Sterling said. We had the first one against United, we could not do it and now we have another one against Swansea with our 60,000 people and we are going to try to be champion. "Today I tried to take my time, got around the goalkeeper and the defender blocked it". That, and the fact that they overcame the setback of those losses, and put themselves in position to clinch the league easily, bodes well for their future as a team, and shows Pep Guardiola has them making great strides in the right direction and that they would be the team to beat in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe next season as well.
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