Sterling grabs hat-trick as 5-star City blitz Brighton

Raheem Sterling scored his third hat-trick of the season as Manchester City spanked Brighton 5-0 to secure second place in the Premier League.

City had lost their three previous away league games, including a defeat at Southampton last Sunday, but they never looked like suffering another slip-up on their return to the south coast.

Sterling, who now has 27 goals in all competitions for City this season, inflicted most of the damage on a Brighton side who never managed to make the game a contest.

The England forward put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead with a superb low finish from outside the area, collecting a Gabriel Jesus flick and cutting in from the left before firing into the opposite corner of the net.

Jesus had a shot deflected against the bar before he got on the end of Rodri’s knockdown from a corner to make it 2-0.

The Seagulls were in more trouble when Riyad Mahrez crossed for Sterling to head home City’s third goal at the far post.

Moments later it was 4-0, when Mat Ryan spilled Bernardo Silva’s shot and the Portuguese midfielder followed up to tap home.

Sterling, whose previous hat-tricks came against West Ham and Italian side Atalanta, had the final word in bizarre fashion when he chased a pass into the area and saw the ball bounce off the back of his head and cross the line.

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