Guardiola explains what impressed him about two Man City debutants

Date published: Thursday 24th September 2020 10:59

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has told Liam Delap to stay “calm” after the striker scored on his Manchester City debut, but says he was “delighted” with the teenager’s performance.

Delap, the 17-year-old son of former Stoke midfielder Rory Delap, got his first team bow for City in their Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth.

And it was a debut to remember for the attacker, as he opened the scoring 18 minutes into a 2-1 win for the reigning holders of the trophy.

After the game, manager Guardiola hailed the teenager’s impact, claiming he can offer them something different if he keeps working hard.

He’s a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality,” Guardiola said. “We see in training how good a finisher he is.

“Now he has to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance – he played really well.”

There was also a debut for goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who joined the club from Columbus Crew in 2019 and spent last season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Although the American international did not keep a clean sheet, Guardiola was impressed with what he saw from Steffen.

Well the goal we conceded was almost unstoppable,” he admitted. “We didn’t defend the shot properly.

“After, he saved on a counter attack. He was calm, he was safe. He gave a good performance.”

Pep previews Leicester clash

City will face Burnley in the next round, but before that host Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday.

Guardiola admits he is expecting an “incredibly tough” match, but is confident the blend of youth and experience in his squad can help them in the upcoming weeks.

It will be incredibly tough, we know that,” he said. “It is always difficult and it will be no exception.

“We play at home. I see the team really well in terms of happiness. The young players help us a lot and we move forward.”

 

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