Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the England man's night at Old Trafford.
Though he switched to the right early in the second half, Sterling had started the match on the left, up against a defender in Matteo Darmian who had not started a match since January. And he was City's most threatening player in the first half, only let down by a poor touch when he met Fernandinho's dinked pass in the area and coming close when he wriggled past several defenders before his shot was saved by David De Gea.
Once on the right, Sterling continued to have an impact and set up Leroy Sane for City's second. The England man dropped deep to collect the ball from Vincent Kompany before launching a run forward. Trailed by several United defenders he calmly rolled the ball across the edge of the area for Sane to do the rest – his 10th Premier League assist of the season to go with 17 goals.
It was not Sterling's most eye-catching performance of the season by any means but he more played his part in a crucial win. His finishing still lets him down on occasion and he might have done better with that first-half chance, but he has the maturity and composure not to let misses affect him and he made a telling impact in the end.