Pep Guardiola full of praise for Manchester City’s latest record-breaker Rico Lewis


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

The right-back, aged 17 years and 346 days, marked his first senior start by netting City’s equaliser as they came from behind to beat Sevilla 3-1 in their final Champions League group game.

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

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

“But we’ve seen him since day one of pre-season. This guy has something special.

“Defensively he is aggressive and with the ball he is so good. Of course he has a lot to improve but the academy here is working amazingly.”

Lewis’ strike early in the second half cancelled out a first-half header from Rafa Mir and City went on to win comfortably with further goals from Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez.

Lewis was substituted five minutes from time and, as he was on the far side of the field at the time, earned a huge reception as he walked around the field back to the bench.

“He made a standing ovation all the way round,” said Guardiola. “He played really good.

“He is 17 years old but he is so clever, so intelligent. You say something, he understands everything. I’m happy for him.”

It was also a good night for Alvarez, who scored one and provided the passes for the other two goals.

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

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