Raheem Sterling congratulated Jordan Henderson after Manchester City 4-0 Liverpool

It would have seriously hurt him to give his former side a guard of honour ahead of kick-off, as he acknowledged Liverpool would be taking the Premier League trophy from his Manchester City side.

Sterling is public enemy No.1 at Anfield after his controversial move to their rivals in 2015.

His spat with Joe Gomez earlier in the season did nothing to improve that relationship as he left the Liverpool defender with a scratch down his face after a clash whilst on England duty, days after a spat during a Premier League fixture between sides.

Last night in the 24th-minute, the two players tangled again inside Liverpool’s penalty area resulting in a penalty to City.

And Gomez couldn’t stop Sterling again 10 minutes later as he made it 2-0 to City.

Sterling thought he’d grabbed himself a second goal of the night to make it 4-0 in the second half but replays showed his effort was going wide before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned it into his own net.

After a 4-0 win, the City man would have been very satisfied with his night’s work as Pep Guardiola’s side at least restored some pride.

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But Sterling still talks fondly of Liverpool and clearly hasn’t forgotten about the club that gave him his first-team debut at the age of 17.

In March, Sterling was asked if he’d ever return to Liverpool in a Q&A on Instagram.

“Would I ever go back to Liverpool? To be honest with you I love Liverpool,” Sterling replied.

“Don’t get it twisted, they are always in my heart. It’s a team that has done a lot for me growing up so…”

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And Sterling showed that love for Liverpool at full-time.

Chief football writer at The Times, Henry Winter, noticed Sterling’s small but classy gesture towards Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.

We’ll let Winter explain what happened.

“Raheem Sterling has just walked 70 yards to seek out Jordan Henderson, embrace him and congratulate him. (Players doing post-match interviews different ends of pitch. Sterling walking back to dressing-room but spotted Henderson waiting for his interview, and headed over).”

A lovely touch from Sterling.