EPL

'Next season started today', says Sterling after City thrash Liverpool

By Sports Desk July 02, 2020

Raheem Sterling says Manchester City laid down a marker for next season with their thumping 4-0 win over newly crowned Premier League champions Liverpool on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola's side made light work of the lacklustre Reds, who were playing for the first time since their first top-flight title in 30 years was confirmed last week.

Kevin De Bruyne got them on their way from the penalty spot after Sterling had been hauled down by Joe Gomez, before the England international, Phil Foden and an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain own goal sealed the resounding victory.

"They [Liverpool] have been brilliant all year," Sterling told Sky Sports. "We knew we had to come out strong because we wanted to have a good game against them.

"We had a test against the current champions and wanted to make a point. We did brilliantly. Next season started today, and we did well."

Foden was once again instrumental to everything positive about City's display, with Sterling impressed by the 20-year-old's maturity.

"This is a team that is evolving and changing," he added. "You can see the maturity Phil is playing with.

"He's 20 and playing like he's been in the first team for years. It's a credit to him. Every opportunity he gets, he does brilliantly."

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    Watford captain Troy Deeney defended Arsenal from criticism after allowing David Luiz to play on with a head injury against Wolves, while brain injury association Headway has outlined why the club's actions were worrying.

    Brazilian defender David Luiz was involved in a sickening collision of heads with Raul Jimenez in the fifth minute of Arsenal's 2-1 defeat on Sunday.

    Jimenez, 29, required oxygen prior to being carried off the pitch on a stretcher after medical professionals tended to him for 10 minutes.

    Further highlighting the force of the clash, it was confirmed by Wolves on Monday that the Mexico international suffered a fractured skull, but the club stressed the player is "comfortable" after undergoing surgery.

    Protocols in the Premier League state that anyone suspected to be suffering from concussion must be immediately taken off, yet it was not until half-time that – in Mikel Arteta's words – the "really uncomfortable" David Luiz was withdrawn, though the Spaniard insisted guidelines were followed.

    In the wake of the incident, Deeney attracted widespread criticism when suggesting players should be trusted to know whether they are capable of playing on or not.

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    The charity is also once again demanding the implementation of a 'concussion substitute' rule akin to that used in cricket and rugby due to the known risks and potential long-term health implications associated with such an injury.

    Headway deputy chief executive officer Luke Griggs said: "Only last week we strongly criticised the International Football Association Board (IFAB) for its continued procrastination in introducing concussion substitutes into the sport.

    "We have repeatedly warned about the risks to players and the importance of elite-level sport setting a good example for impressionable younger players to follow.

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    "The concussion protocol clearly states that '…anyone with a suspected concussion must be immediately removed from play', while the sport continues to promote an 'if in doubt, sit it out' approach to head injuries.

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    "He has since seen his partner Daniela and is now resting. He will remain under observation for a few days while he begins his recovery.

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