Steven Gerrard tells Raheem Sterling to 'sharpen up' and admits Manchester City midfielder must 'do better' in the Champions League

Former Liverpool captain has criticised the composure of his ex-teammate and says he must add more goals to his game to live up to his £44m price tag

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The Independent Online

Steven Gerrard didn't hold back in his assessment of former teammate Raheem Sterling after criticising the Manchester City midfielder's composure following their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Juventus on Tuesday night.

Sterling missed two chances to score – the first to put City ahead and the second to double their lead that would have put them two goals clear of the Italian champions – but both times he saw his efforts saved by goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

The 20-year-old opened his account in the 2-0 win over Watford in the Premier League, but he has missed further opportunities in front of goal and his former Liverpool captain admitted he needs to work on his finishing is he is to live up to his £44m price tag.

 

“I think at this point in his career I think he is trying to add goals to his game” Gerrard said on BT Sport. “It is something that he needs to sharpen up on. It’s on his left foot but he needs to show a bit more power and a bit more accuracy there. It’s a great save but he needs to do better. Even with his first chance, I think Raheem will be very disappointed he hasn’t scored a goal.”

 

When presenter Gary Lineker probed on whether Sterling puts the work in on the training ground to improve that aspect of his game, Gerrard was positive about the former Anfield prospect, but admitted that the Champions league is a level where you cannot afford to miss chances.

“Yeah he does,” said Gerrard. “He’s still a young boy but he’s gone there with a big price tag and there’s a big pressure on him and at this level you’ve got to deliver, so it is something that he needs to brush up on very quickly.”

The defeat means that City have got off to another poor start in Europe, despite the Premier League leaders yet to concede a goal in domestic football this season. Having begun their fifth campaign in the Champions League since breaking onto the European scene, City have only one their opening match once, and that came in 2013/14 season against Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen.

With testing matches against Borussia Monchengladbach and Seville to come – plus a trip to Turin to take on Juventus once more – City already face an uphill struggle to reach the last-16.

BT Sport is the new home of European football, with all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches exclusively live. Visit btsport.com/Europe.

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