Pep Guardiola believes Man City record holder Rico Lewis has “something special”

Pep Guardiola hailed Rico Lewis as “something special” after the teenager became Manchester City’s youngest scorer in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The right-back, at the age of 17 years and 346 days, marked his first start in the first team by scoring the draw for City who beat Sevilla 3-1 in the last match of the Champions League group.

It was a sweet moment for the Manchester-born youngster, who took full advantage of the opportunity to play in the continued absence of injured England international Kyle Walker.

“We don’t give gifts because he’s a Man City or academy fan,” said City manager Guardiola. “You have to earn it.

“But we’ve seen it from day one of preseason. This guy has something special.

In defense he is aggressive and with the ball he is very good. Obviously he has a lot to improve, but the academy here is working in an extraordinary way “.

Lewis’s early second-half goal nullified a Rafa Mir header in the first half and City won comfortably with further goals from Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez.

Riyad Mahrez celebrates his goal (Nick Potts / PA)

Lewis was substituted with five minutes to go and, as he was on the other side of the pitch at the time, he got a very good reception as he walked around the field back to the bench.

“He gave a standing ovation the whole time,” Guardiola said. “He played really well.

“He’s 17 but he’s so smart, so smart. You say something, he understands everything. I’m happy for him. “

Good evening for Alvarez too, who scored one and provided passes for the other two goals.

Guardiola said: “There is no player in the locker room who is not happy for him. He is a special guy. He was patient, he found the space and got the awards he deserved. “

Julian Alvarez scores Manchester City's third goal

Julian Alvarez scores third Manchester City goal (Martin Rickett / PA)

There had been little to drive in the game with City already making it into the round of 16 as Group G winner.

Guardiola said: “Of course we qualified but we finished well. For the money and the prestige it is good for the club. It was a good evening for us, especially in the second half ”.

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli felt his side vanish after a good start.

The former Argentina manager, who was appointed last month and is looking to reverse a bad start to the season, said: “We were quite comfortable and controlled the game.

We made a lot of mental and physical effort but then we shot ourselves in the foot with a couple of unforced errors, which ruined a lot of the good work we did ”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *