Guardiola lauds record-breaking Lewis as Man City's young guns down Sevilla

By Sports Desk November 02, 2022

Pep Guardiola hailed Manchester City's record-breaker Rico Lewis after he became the youngest player to score on his first Champions League start in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Sevilla.

A much-changed City team initially fell behind to Rafa Mir's header in their final Group G fixture, but at the age of 17 years and 346 days old, Lewis hammered home to beat Karim Benzema's 2005 record and level the scores.

Lewis' effort kick-started a City comeback, as Julian Alvarez put Guardiola's team in the ascendancy before teeing up Riyad Mahrez to complete the scoring late on.

Speaking to BT Sport after the victory, Guardiola credited Lewis for his intelligence and said City's win showed the future is bright at the Etihad Stadium.

"What a goal, he's a fantastic player. He's so intelligent," Guardiola said of the right-back. "Apart from the skills, he's so intelligent, so clever.

 "He understands everything. He made a fantastic goal, high past the goalkeeper, and played really well.

"We have a young squad, we have some older players but it's a young squad. Julian is young but top-class, and Rico, and of course, Sergio [Gomez].

"They played in the Champions League against Sevilla, an experienced team, and for prestige, money, everything, it was important."

Lewis' goal came on the day he became just the fifth Englishman to start a Champions League game before turning 18, after Jack Wilshere, Josh McEachran, Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham.

His strong all-round performance also earned him praise from City defender Ruben Dias, who told BT Sport: "He's an enormous talent. He's been with us a long time. 

"For him to get the opportunity of playing practically the full game and to score, you can see his quality. Brilliant things from him, he just needs to keep working.

"At this club it doesn't matter if it's a friendly, the Champions League final, or a game in the groups with everything done. We need to push each other, the same as in training.

"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."

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