Clubs, English Premier League, Manchester City, Story

Pep Guardiola says he ‘wants to escape’ from the high amount of games in January.

NEWCASTLE — Raheem Sterling has said he is putting efficiency ahead of flair after helping Manchester City to their record-breaking 18th straight Premier League victory.

England forward Sterling is City’s top scorer and again made the difference in the 1-0 win at Newcastle with his 17th goal of the season — already considerably better than his previous best haul of 11.

Sterling has 13 goals in the Premier League, and the strike at St James’ Park was his fourth winner of the season as City opened up a 15-point margin at the top of the table.

“[It’s my best season] most definitely, in terms of goals,” he told City’s official website. “I’ve probably had a better season dribbling, but this is the most efficient I’ve been.

“That’s exactly what I want. There’s no point dribbling if you’re not helping the team.

“Scoring is something I’ve always wanted to do and something I’m trying to improve on.

“I always want to get better. I’m happy to have been able to bring that and hopefully, it will carry on.”

The win over Newcastle equalled yet another record as City secured an 11th consecutive away victory, matching the English top flight record set by Chelsea between April and December 2008.

They could break the record at Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve and also make it 19 successive victories, matching coach Pep Guardiola’s personal best with Bayern Munich.

But Sterling, 23, insists City are more concerned about maintaining their huge lead over second-placed Manchester United as he bids to secure his first Premier League winners’ medal.

“I don’t think anyone is really thinking about records,” he added. “They’re nice to have on your CV but we have to keep winning and getting three points.

“Records only stand for a certain amount of time. Three points add to the table.”

Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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