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Raheem Sterling believes Manchester City are strong Champions League contenders

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Raheem Sterling is confident Manchester City can go on and make a strong impact in the Champions League after progressing as group winners.

City claimed one of the top spots in the first stage of the competition for the first time as they came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 with two Sterling goals on Tuesday.

The result took them above Juventus to the top of Group D and means they will avoid the likes of Barcelona - their conquerors in the past two seasons - Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the last 16.

Match-winner Sterling said: "It gives us massive belief. We all know this is a team that is going to score goals. We just have to be more solid on the whole and keep more teams at bay.

"I think it is just a matter of time and working on it as a team. Definitely it's paying off and hopefully we can carry that on to the next round.

"It was just trying to avoid probably some of the big guns in the next round and trying to get a good draw, as we know we can probably do it over two legs against most teams. We are just waiting for the draw now and will see who we get and take it from there."

City left it late against the Germans at the Etihad Stadium but their storming finish was just reward for a dominant second-half display.

The hosts had trailed at half-time after Monchengladbach replied to David Silva's early strike with goals from Julian Korb and Raffael.

Continuous pressure from City finally paid off in the 79th minute as Sterling, who was outstanding on his 21st birthday, levelled from close range. He swept City ahead with a fine finish just minutes later and substitute Wilfried Bony applied the final gloss five minutes from time.

Sterling said: "When they scored the two goals in the first half it was a bit disappointing because we did start well.

"But I knew if we kept working hard and playing the football we know we can play - the fluent, free-flowing football - we could score some goals. It was just a matter of chances and, credit to the boys, we dug deep and won the game."

City's form prior to the game had been patchy with just two wins in six games and a disappointing defeat at Stoke on Saturday that knocked them off the top of the Barclays Premier League.

They now want to build some momentum, starting with Saturday's visit of Swansea.

Sterling said: "It is always difficult, especially when the results haven't been going your way of late.

"But there is a good character in the changing room, everyone was up for it. We showed great character and enthusiasm to get back and win the game.

"Stoke was a real disappointment but going into the game against Swansea, we know we can (bounce back). We just need to play our football and not concentrate on what is going on elsewhere in the league."

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Raheem Sterling
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