MANCHESTER, England, June 17 (Reuters) - Raheem Sterling scored the first goal of the Premier League’s return to action after the coronavirus lockdown as Manchester City defeated Arsenal 3-0 behind closed doors at the Etihad stadium on Wednesday.
Sterling, a prominent supporter of the “Black Lives Matter” movement whose slogan featured on the players’ shirts, fired home on the stroke of halftime to put second-placed City ahead.
The goal came after Arsenal substitute David Luiz failed to deal with a ball into the box and allowed Sterling in on goal, and the Brazilian was at fault again for City’s second.
Riyad Mahrez got the wrong side of Luiz as he burst into the box and the ex-Chelsea defender put his hand on the Algerian’s back. Eeferee Anthony Taylor ruled he had pushed him to the ground, awarding a penalty and sending off Luiz.
Kevin De Bruyne confidently converted the spot-kick and City never looked in any danger against opponents reduced to 10 men.
City were also forced to end the game with 10 players when Spanish defender Eric Garcia was carried off on a stretcher after a collision with his keeper Ederson. City were not able to replace him as manager Pep Guardiola had used all five available substitutes.
Guardiola’s side wrapped up the win in stoppage time when Sergio Aguero hit the post, after a neat exchange with Sterling, and substitute Phil Foden slotted home the loose ball. (Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond)