The England international was unlucky as he was judged to have been in an offside position when he provided the assist for Gabriel Jesus to sweep home the first goal in Premier League history to be ruled out by VAR.
In the midday kick-off on Saturday, Manchester City blew away West Ham by five unreplied goals but with the scoreline still at two-nil, City thought they had extended their lead over West Ham when Gabriel Jesus tapped home Raheem Sterling’s pass.
But officals in the VAR centre checked the passage of play and had the goal chalked off after Sterling was adjudged to have been offside by the narrowest of margin.
The former Liverpool winger would not be denied however as he shrugged of the disappointment of his chalked off assist to net a fine hat trick as Manchester City blitzed past the sorry Hammers.
Hat-trick for Raheem Sterling!
An ice cold finish from a man who has started the new season in red hot form!
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 10, 2019
“It feels good but the important thing today was starting well as a team and getting the win and the three points,” the England winger told CityTV after the encounter.
“That’s what we’ve done and it’s a great way to start the season.
“It’s always good to score goals but at the same time you want to get a run of clean sheets going as well and long may it continue.”
On whether he was targeting the golden boot this season after his hat trick, the 24-year-old said: “It’s early days. It’s about enjoying it and keeping winning – that’s the most important thing!”
A VERY tight call …
VAR disallowed Gabriel Jesus' goal after ruling that Raheem Sterling was offside. pic.twitter.com/lRAAmCRmRM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 10, 2019
While disappointed in the controversial decision taken by VAR, Sterling welcomed the introduction of the technology.
— Raheem Sterling (@sterling7) August 10, 2019
“At the end of the day, as long as the decision is right, that is all that matters,” he stated.