Substitute Sterling scored his ninth of the season in all competitions four minutes after coming with City's only late moment of concern en route to a 13th straight win coming when careless defending from Nicolas Otamendi let in Matty Phillips for a consolation.
"I think we had more chances to win the match, tactically hard for both teams, for both players". Our two strikers were up against incredible central defenders today, some of the best in Europe. Both teams were trying to win but both knew the opponent was strong.
There was nothing fancy about Martial's victor, the forward finishing after a kick downfield by United goalkeeper David De Gea was headed on by Romelu Lukaku.
With nine minutes remaining Martial latched on to Lukaku's flick-on to score.
'The manager tried to give us a chance, so we have to score and give assists'.
'So contrary to some imaginary sources that tell you everything we do here, I can promise you that since that match I didn't speak one single second about the match, because [there's] no need'.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, who had shown unusual irritation last week when asked about stories linking compatriot Carlo Ancelotti with his job, seemed rather happier after Eden Hazard's 51st minute goal earned his side a 1-0 win in the late game at Bournemouth to maintain their fourth spot.
The defeat sees Tottenham lose ground on league leaders Manchester City, with Spurs struggling to threaten without the injured Harry Kane.
"If Dele Alli had scored now the question would be different", Pochettino said.