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Pep Saw It Coming: Man City Boss Knew Rico Lewis Was Special From Day One

Pep Saw It Coming: Man City Boss Knew Rico Lewis Was Special From Day One

Manchester City concluded their UEFA Champions League engagements before the World Cup break with a 3-1 victory at home against Sevilla.

City were missing the services of Erling Haaland through injury but goals from Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez were enough to complete the turnaround.

It was, however, a teenage Rico Lewis that provided the highlight of the evening as he lashed home from a narrow angle after an intricate play in the Sevilla box.

Lewis has thus become the youngest player to score in his first start in the competition, beating Karim Benzema’s record at 17 years and 352 days set in his Lyon days.

At 17 years and 346 days, he has also become the second youngest English player to score a Champions League goal after Jude Bellingham, who holds the record at 17 years and 289 days.

Wheeling away in celebration of what is surely a watershed moment for Lewis, he punched the air with pure ecstasy as the Etihad erupted under inclement weather.

Manager Pep Guardiola was keen to heap praise upon the youngster, bringing him off with 5 minutes left to play amidst rapturous reception from the stands.

Speaking about the academy prospect, Guardiola said in his post-match interview, “We don’t give presents here, he had to earn it. We have seen him since day one in pre-season and I said: this guy has something special”.

“The people love players from the academy but we see him every day. We know he has quality and I am really happy for him” added the former Barcelona manager.

A pathway into the first team could be beckoning for Lewis given that Manchester City have brought the likes of Phil Foden and Cole Palmer through, who also started against Sevilla.

The player from Bury does face stiff competition from Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake and Joao Cancelo, but he might find minutes for his legs in the domestic cups.

The Blues now plays Fulham in the Premier League, having won their Champions League group with 14 points followed by Borussia Dortmund with 9 points in Group G.