Raheem Sterling came off the bench to provide the spark Manchester City needed to claim a hard-fought but deserved 2-0 Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb.
Pep Guardiola’s side seemed to do everything but score in a one-sided first half at the Etihad Stadium but it took the second-half introduction of Sterling to break the deadlock.
The England forward struck in the 66th minute to put City on course for top spot in Group C before Phil Foden added a second in injury time.
After 19 attempts on goal few could quibble with the result but City’s lack of a cutting edge, although key man Kevin De Bruyne was missing with a groin injury, might be of concern to Guardiola.
The City boss himself did not have a quiet night as he was booked in the second half for protesting about a refereeing decision. That came after City had also been frustrated by the VAR system before the break, denied a penalty for handball.
City have had little luck with VAR since it was introduced and another penalty appeal was turned down late on.
Most of the noise in the ground came from Dinamo’s small but lively contingent of around 1,300 fans. They even took their tops off en masse at one point, so much were they enjoying the occasion, but all the good play came from City.
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