MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 17: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City scores his team’s first goal past Adam Federici of Bournemouth during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and A.F.C. Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling nets first half hat trick in rout over Bournemouth

Even without Sergio Aguero scoring the goals and Vincent Kompany defending the goal, Manchester City didn’t really need them to win today. Man City won 5-1 thanks to two goals by Wilfried Bony and a first half hat trick by Raheem Sterling. This is Sterling’s first hat trick in his professional career.

From the start of the game, Manchester City was in full control. For Sterling’s first goal, in the 7th minute, he was in the right place at the right time. He waited a few yards away from the goal for his moment and as the ball pinballed around and to his foot, Sterling tapped it in for the first goal of the day.

Sterling’s second goal came about 20 minutes later and this goal was a testament to patience in the box. One difference I have noticed with Sterling at Manchester City than at Liverpool was that Sterling is willing to hold off on shooting and shoot when he has a good shot rather than maybe taking a bad shot just because he’s close enough to the goal. He cut in and faked out not one, but two Bournemouth defenders to have a one-on-one showdown with goalkeeper Adam Federici. Federici had no chance.

The goal that capped off the hat trick happened very deep into stoppage time in the first half. This was the result of a calamity of Bournemouth errors. First, City goalkeeper Joe Hart blasted the kick in between the Bournemouth defenders and bounce toward the goal. Next, it appeared to be some confusion between Federici and Andrew Surman in terms of who is getting the ball, leaving Jesus Navas to sneak in and grab the ball at speed. Federici got there just in time to somehow deny Navas but then the ball fell straight to Sterling who faked out the defender and sneak the ball through the legs and sink the hopes of Bournemouth for getting a result on this day.

Yeah this is against Bournemouth and with Bournemouth’s attacking style, there was a chance for Manchester City to take advantage like this but it really seems like Raheem Sterling is starting to come into his own. With Aguero out for another few weeks at least, this could be Sterling’s chance to really live up to his potential and keep Manchester City’s title hopes alive.

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About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp