Pep Guardiola reaction: Man City boss hails ‘fantastic’ starlet who created history in Champions League win

Pep Guardiola Man City v Sevilla

Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Manchester City’s Rico Lewis after the starlet created history in the 3-1 Champions League win over Sevilla at The Etihad.

The highly-rated 17-year-old scored on his full City debut as the Blues came from behind to beat Sevilla in their final Champions League group game.

City were trailing to a first-half header from former Wolves and Nottingham Forest striker Rafa Mir when Lewis latched on to Julian Alvarez’s pass seven minutes after the break and drove a powerful effort past Yassine Bounou.

It was a moment the starlet will remember for the rest of his life. And at 17 years and 346 days, he becomes City’s youngest Champions League goalscorer.

City then turned to the bench in the search for a winner and it was provided courtesy of a superb curling pass from substitute Kevin de Bruyne, which went around the back of the Sevilla defence and sent Alvarez running clear.

Riyad Mahrez then wrapped up the scoring seven minutes from time.

Speaking after the game, Guardiola told BT Sport: “We struggled [in the first half].

“In the first half the guys tried. Second half was better, really good goals. I’m happy for everyone.

“In the second half we put more people close to the box. In the first half they were a little bit wider.”

On Lewis’ goal and his performance on his debut, Guardiola added: “What a goal. He’s a fantastic player, so intelligent. He understands everything. He made a fantastic goal and played really well.”

Dias delighted as City show fighting spirit

City defender Ruben Dias added: “Definitely [what they wanted]. We wanted one more thing – not to concede. Unfortunately we conceded one.

“It was one of those games, everything is settled in the group, it’s a game in which you need to perform because the rhythm is going with non-stop games.

“To drop down [in terms of performance] is not a good idea. The second half was a very good answer from the team.”

On the performance of Rico Lewis, Dias added: “He’s an enormous talent. He’s been with us a long time. To get the opportunity of playing practically the full game and scoring, you can see his quality. He just needs to keep working.”

De Bruyne cam on and made a huge difference as City turned a negative result into a positive one, with Dias adding: “It’s one of those Kevin things. It’s good to be able to count on him.

“At this club it doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly, the Champions League final, or a game in the groups with eveything done, we need to push each other. Same as training.”

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