Two defensive errors gifted City their goals, scored by Sterling and Gabriel Jesus either side of Karim Benzema’s equaliser, to send City through 4-2 on aggregate.
The forward said the game plan was based around harassing Real in possession—and that certainly paid dividends with Raphael Varane’s mistakes.
“Energy, passion; it’s a competition we want to do well in and we said the most important thing is to run our socks off and the result will follow,” he told BT Sport at full-time.
“The most important thing, we know how good they are but the difference was who ran the most and I thought we were brilliant tonight.
“The plan was to be on the front foot, show our aggression, be right up on them and from our pressing we got two goals.”
Sterling, who notched his 100th goal in a City shirt on the night, says his team can be rightfully confident of going all the way this year in the changed format.
The quarters, semis and final will be played over one game each rather than two legs, all taking place in Lisbon from next week—and Sterling is looking forward to the style of games more usually associated with summer tournaments.
“With the players we’ve got there’s no inferiority.
“It’s going to be more like an international scene. We’re looking forward to it and I’m just grateful we’re there.”
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