Guardiola steals Sterling’s matchball and jokes he didn’t score a hat-trick

Pep Guardiola joked with Raheem Sterling and stole his matchball after claiming the third goal of his hat-trick didn't count.

The 25-year-old scored a treble as Manchester City smashed five past Brighton at the Amex.

City were in irresistible form with Sterling powering home the opener from 20 yards.

He then nodded home his second on 53 minutes before completing his hat-trick nine minutes from the end.

There was more than a touch of fortune about his final goal with the ball bouncing off the City man's head, past Brighton keeper Matt Ryan, before Dan Burn tried in vain to clear it off the line.

And while Sterling celebrated his luck, his manager had a different taken on things.

"The 3rd goal you did not score it," he laughed as he briefly took the matchball from Sterling's clutches before returning it.

Sterling was adamant the goal belonged to him with his season tally now up to 27.

It was City's second game on the south coast in the space of a week following their defeat at Southampton.

Guardiola watched on as his side lost 1-0 to the Saints, but he was especially pleased with his side's display as they scored five without conceding for the second time in four days.

"I was pleased with everything tonight – the result and the levels we reached," the City boss told Sky Sports afterwards.

"We are now at a good level and are ready to play the last games of the Premier League and in the Champions League.

"We've forgotten the Southampton result as we played incredibly well there. Football sometimes is strange. We just didn't score there. We're a team who create a lot of chances and this time we converted them."

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