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Rico Lewis receives rave reviews as 17-year-old breaks Karim Benzema’s Champions League record


It was a night to remember for Rico Lewis as the 17-year-old scored on his full debut to inspire Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Sevilla.

The young defender finished with the confidence of a veteran striker as he fired home to bring City level in their final Champions League group game.

The goal also made Lewis the youngest player to score in his first Champions League start, earning that crown from Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema.

After the match, City manager Pep Guardiola said of Lewis: “We don’t give presents here, he had to earn them.

“People love the academy players but we see him every day. We know he has quality and I’m really happy for him.

That love was evident when Lewis was mobbed by his cheery teammates after scoring the equalizer before the right back fist swung into the crowd.

Lewis’s goal was timely for a much-changed City side who had struggled in dead rubber and were left with a goal.

Rafa Mir, who had threatened City’s goal on several occasions, scored Sevilla’s opener with a powerful header from a corner.

Despite dominating debates, City were unable to create many openings, with İlkay Gündoğan coming closest after a complex game with Phil Foden.

And it took 53 minutes and the most unsung member of City’s star-studded squad to put them back in the game.

Julián Álvarez, getting off to a rare start after Erling Haaland missed his second game through injury, played a defensive pass the way to the pressed full-back.

Lewis still had a lot to do from a tight angle, but put in a fine finish on Sevilla keeper Yassine Bounou.

City still needed to bring in some of their big guns to turn the tide completely. Kevin De Bruyne played a trademark super pass to Álvarez who rounded the keeper and fired home to put City ahead.

Riyad Mahrez sealed the points with a fine finish after Álvarez forced a turnover just outside Sevilla’s half.

It was an impressive performance from Álvarez who capitalized on his opportunity to come forward.

The striker became the first youngest Argentine to be directly involved in three goals in a single Champions League game since national team-mate Lionel Messi did so in 2009.

Rico Lewis receives rave reviews as 17-year-old breaks Karim Benzema’s Champions League record

Man City topped Group G after winning every game but a draw with Borussia Dortmund and sealing their 10th consecutive qualification out of the group stage.

Despite the points and the imperious position, Guardiola will be most pleased with the performance of some of City’s fringe players.

“But we can give someone from the academy the chance,” the City manager said. ” This is the dream. It’s good for the club’s economy and we can count on him. I am very satisfied with their way of working. »

City return to action on Saturday when they host Fulham in the Premier League.


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