The Manchester City winning machine has ploughed on relentlessly towards the Premier League title with a 1-0 defeat of Arsenal.
Sterling's header from Riyad Mahrez's cross less than two minutes into the game caught Arsenal cold, enough for City to claim an 18th consecutive win in all competitions and preserve their 10-point lead.
The visitors dominated possession and created numerous chances, but were unable to kill off Arsenal, although City keeper Ederson was rarely called into action.
Pep Guardiola's side's 13th successive league victory lifted them to 59 points from 25 games, with Leicester City in second place on 49 points, after they won 2-1 at Aston Villa.
Arsenal's third defeat in four games left them in 10th spot.
Although the scoreline looked close, Arsenal barely laid a glove on the league leaders and could have been buried in the opening 25 minutes, when City were totally dominant.
Arsenal managed only one effort on target and appeared for most of the game to be protecting a narrow loss.
"When we conceded the first goal, it put us in a difficult situation," says Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. "It was tough.
"With their formation and players they use, they are really comfortable. We didn't do it in the first 10 minutes."
In other action, an impressive individual performance from Marcus Rashford has steered Manchester United to a 3-1 home win over Newcastle United.
The England forward scored one goal and had a hand in another, as United moved back into second spot on 49 points from 25 games, 10 behind leaders Manchester City and ahead of third-placed Leicester City on goal difference.
After an eighth league defeat in 10 games, Newcastle stay 17th on 25 points, three ahead of Fulham, who occupy the last relegation spot.
Rashford fired United ahead out of the blue in the 30th minute, when he twice beat defender Emil Krafth with neat footwork, before firing a crisp low shot past goalkeeper Karl Darlow inside the near post.
The visitors, who had looked more likely to break the deadlock, hit back six minutes later, when Allan Saint-Maximin took advantage of a poor clearance by Harry Maguire and swept the ball into the roof of the net.
United still looked unconvincing in the early stages of the second half, but struck from out of nowhere in the 57th minute, as a Nemanja Matic pass was touched on by Bruno Fernandes to Daniel James, who rifled the ball past Darlow from eight metres.
Fernandes sealed United's win with a 74th-minute penalty awarded, when Joe Willock tripped Rashford, after he bedazzled the Newcastle player with sublime close control in the area.