He ended the game on the winning team, but Raheem Sterling will not remember his first trophy as a Manchester City player too fondly.
The 21-year-old was booed throughout Sunday’s Capital One Cup final by 30,000 furious Liverpool supporters, owing to his departure from the club in the summer.
He also missed two glorious opportunities to double City’s lead before Philippe Coutinho’s equaliser.
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And to make matters worse, the Mirror report that Sterling was allegedly manhandled by an irate Liverpool fan after the game.
The incident happened as the winger entered a lounge at Wembley for an official function with club partners.
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The fan, who managed to breach security, placed an arm around Sterling’s shoulders before yanking him around and shouting, “You ****ing Judas” in his face.
Kevin de Bruyne, who missed the game due to a knee injury, quickly intervened and helped separate the pair.
Sterling’s move to City in July was one of the most acrimonious sagas in football history. The England international made it clear in 2014 that he had no intention of signing a new contract at Liverpool and his agent, Aidy Ward, said: “He’s not signing for £900,000 a week.”
Sterling even appeared on TV to discuss his future, admitting he wasn’t a “money-grabbing 20-year-old.”
Liverpool fans clearly don’t see it that way. They will never forgive Sterling for the way in which he left the club.
The winger admitted after Sunday’s game, which City won on penalties thanks to Willy Caballero’s heroics, that Liverpool still holds a place in his heart.
He posted a picture of himself with the trophy on Instagram along with the caption: “Dream come true to win the League Cup and in the area I grew up. But also difficult to celebrate against some my close friends in football, but have to give all the praise to the most high #togodbetheglory.”
Sterling will hope that the Capital One Cup isn’t the only piece of silverware he wins this season. Manuel Pellegrini’s team have one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals following a 3-1 win in the first leg of their last 16 tie with Dynamo Kiev, although they will certainly be underdogs should they come up against Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid at some stage in the tournament.
In the Premier League, the Citizens are nine points behind leaders Leicester with a game in hand.
City’s squad will undergo a mass shake-up at the end of the season when Pep Guardiola arrives. The Spaniard, currently in charge of Bayern, will replace Pellegrini and is expected to bring in a host of new players in order to turn City into perennial European contenders.
It’s certainly a great time to be a City fan.