Raheem Sterling recorded a career first as his hot streak in front of goal continued in Manchester City’s meeting with Tottenham.The England international has taken his game to new heights over recent years, with consistency added which was frustratingly lacking before.Blues boss Pep Guardiola has made quite an impact on the 24-year-old, with end product eked out of a player who could be hit and miss. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Composure in the final third is the most notable addition to Sterling’s arsenal, with the right decision now taken on a regular basis.He is reaping the benefits, with the Three Lions star showing himself to be prolific. Based in the UK? Grab a Sky Sports Day Pass for just £8.99!Sterling broke the 20-goal mark for the first time in 2017-18, before setting a new personal best last season as he found the target 25 times across all competitions.He ended the season in style, as City completed an historic domestic treble, and has picked up where he left off in the new campaign.A hat-trick in a 5-0 mauling of West Ham on the opening weekend set the tone, with another effort added to his tally against Spurs.Sterling has now netted in four successive games for the first time, with opponents unable to contain the threat he poses.4 – Raheem Sterling has scored in four consecutive club appearances in all competitions for the first time in his professional career, netting seven goals in those four games. Fantastic. pic.twitter.com/7hxYJC7dEU— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 17, 2019There were just 20 minutes on the clock when he breached the Tottenham backline.He has made a habit of drifting in at the far post to be in the right place at the right time.That was the case once again against Spurs, with Kevin De Bruyne spotting his clever run.There was still much to do when the ball arrived at Sterling, but he guided a cushioned header back across Hugo Lloris and into the bottom corner.City’s advantage was to last less than three minutes, with Erik Lamela restoring parity after being given far too much space on the edge of the box.Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champions are rarely rattled for long, though, and hit back themselves before half-time.The predatory Sergio Aguero added to his club-record collection of goals as he guided home a low cross from De Bruyne. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez and Monaco forward Radamel Falcao have not been included in Colombia’s squad for next month’s friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela.Madrid confirmed on Monday that the 28-year-old had suffered a calf injury in his right leg but did not say how much time the midfielder would miss.James started for the Spanish giants for the first time since May 2017 on Saturday, when Zinedine Zidane’s side were held to a 1-1 La Liga draw by Real Valladolid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream After the game, James spoke of the “unique feeling” he had from playing at Santiago Bernabeu again.The playmaker spent two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga title in both campaigns, but the German side opted not to sign the the Colombian on a permanent basis at the end of last season.Atletico Madrid and Napoli were reportedly interested in signing James during the transfer window, but a deal failed to materialise and it looks likely he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu beyond the transfer deadline of September 2.James has made 112 appearances since arriving at Madrid in 2014 and still has two years left on his contract.Falcao is yet to make an appearance for Monaco this season due to injury, while his future at the club remains in the air. The striker has been rumoured to be looking for a way out of Monaco this season after the club were almost relegated in the 2018-19 campaign. Galatasaray has been mentioned as his most likely landing spot as the 33-year-old looks to play Champions League football this season.However, Monaco CEO Oleg Petrov has warned that Falcao’s move may not be completed before the September 2 transfer deadline. “Falcao is a great professional,” Petrov said last week . “He has ambitions obviously, he wants to play the Champions League and we understand him, but we want him to stay at the club, he has a contract and he has to respect it.”Colombia reached the quarter-final stage of this summer’s Copa America, where they fell on penalties to Chile after a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes.In the absence of James and Falcao, Colombia have called up Duvan Zapata, Rafael Santos Borre, Luis Muriel and Roger Martinez in attack for the upcoming friendlies.
Weerasinghe said another point of contention was that China wanted zero tariffs on 90 percent of goods the two countries sold to each other as soon as an agreement is signed while Colombo would rather it started with zero tariffs on only half of the products concerned and expanded gradually over 20 years. But concerns have grown in recent months that such investments can drive the country of 21 million people deeper into debt and undermine its sovereignty, prompting greater scrutiny of deals with China. Talks between China and Sri Lanka for a free trade agreement have hit major hurdles, mainly because Beijing will not agree to Colombo’s demand for a review of the deal after 10 years, Sri Lanka’s top negotiator said, according to the Reuters news agency.China has invested billions of dollars building ports and roads and power stations in the Indian Ocean island nation just off the southern toe of India as part of its Belt and Road Initiative to increase its trade and other connections across Asia and beyond. China’s exports to Sri Lanka dwarf the trade that goes in the other direction, leaving Colombo with a big deficit with Beijing. “The talks have come to a standstill. China wants to remove the review clause,” Weerasinghe told Reuters. Beijing was opposed to such an option because it wanted longer-term stability, he said.China’s commerce ministry did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.The review clause that Sri Lanka wants would allow it to change some of the deal terms if they were hurting the island nation’s local businesses. Sri Lanka’s chief trade negotiator K.J. Weerasinghe said this week that Colombo was insisting on a right to review the free trade pact after ten years, but China was not ready to agree that.Ministerial level discussions about an agreement have not been held since March last year. Lower-level discussions between officials have made little progress, according to Weerasinghe. The 2017 figures for China trade have still not been released by the Sri Lankan authorities.The trade deficit with China accounted for nearly half of the nation’s total deficit in 2016, adding pressure on the country’s current account deficit, central bank data showed.Sri Lanka’s foreign debt rose nearly 17 percent to 4.72 trillion rupees ($30 billion) last year, a fifth of that coming from loans from China to finance the massive construction program across the island.Colombo is separately negotiating a trade pact with India, but that is also moving slowly because Sri Lankan businesses fear they will face competition from a flood of cheap goods made by Indian firms. China has been pushing for free trade pacts with countries in the region and last year sealed an agreement with the Maldives that drew criticism from opposition political groups in the tropical islands’ nation. They said it had been rushed through parliament with less than an hour of debate.Sri Lanka has previously said it wanted more time to negotiate the free trade deal with China as it is concerned about the economic impact of a rushed deal on its economy.Sri Lanka imported $4.2 billion worth of Chinese goods in 2016, mostly raw materials for garments, machines and electronics, metals, transport equipment and chemicals. Its exports to the world’s second largest economy were just $211 million the same year, which included textiles, tea and vegetables, footwear and rubber.