Man City were dumped out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage following a 3-1 defeat to Lyon on Saturday.
But it could have been very different had Sterling scored his glorious chance moments before Lyon scored their third goal of the night.
The Blues brilliantly created an opening with Gabriel Jesus squaring to Sterling who missed from five yards.
The England international ballooned over an empty net as he looked on in disbelief.
The minute that sunk Manchester City :scream:
86' Sterling miss
87' Dembele goal
Man City's top scorer couldn't capitalise, but Lyon's top striker was there to take full advantage!#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/ElLEB62PkG
- Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 15, 2020
Moussa Dembele then went down the other end and scored Lyon's third goal of the tie to send his team to the Champions League semi-final.
Naturally, Sterling's miss sent social media into overdrive.
How am I gonna tell my kids cornett scored and sterling missed :sob::sob: pic.twitter.com/1kMdDS0qt4
- Wikel Arteta (@w8arteta) August 15, 2020
What the world saw vs What Raheem Sterling saw.#ManCity #MCIOL pic.twitter.com/xB8HIOLZ0U
- Laxx the Meanyman (@manlikelaxx) August 15, 2020
Lineker interesting on Sterling's miss. Says he missed because he hit it too hard, by putting his foot through it, and that "all you have to do is let it hit your foot". Interesting because that's the exact opposite of what staff told him after the Burnley miss in 2018
- Sam Lee (@SamLee) August 15, 2020
How am I going to tell my kids Sterling missed from here pic.twitter.com/RV3DktrW9t
- Zac Djellab (@ZacDjellab) August 15, 2020
Oh dear Raheem Sterling, oh dear. #MCIOL #MCILYO pic.twitter.com/6nsxm49P9i
- Andrew Jerell Jones, Luke 1:37 (@sluggahjells) August 15, 2020
We finally know what would've happened if Kane squared it to Sterling. pic.twitter.com/XejK2p34gQ
- :trident: (@spikezv3) August 15, 2020
One Twitter user wrote: "Has anyone found the ball yet? Need to get some posters up. Hope it's found."
A second tweeted: "Now he's not even a tap in merchant."
A third added: "Even a little kid could have scored man, seriously."
Maxwel Cornet opened the scoring against City who hit back through Kevin De Bruyne. Second-half substitute Dembele bagged a brace as Lyon won 3-1.
The French club now play Bayern Munich for a place in this season's final.
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