Football

City teen Cole Palmer has Pep purring after his first European goal

Manchester City's latest home-grown starlet Cole Palmer announced his arrival on the European stage yesterday morning (Singapore time) with a maturely taken goal that had manager Pep Guardiola purring over his ability.

The 19-year-old midfielder came on for the last 26 minutes and scored City's fourth in a 5-1 victory as the English champions ran riot in Belgium against Club Brugge to put their Champions League campaign back on track.

Goals by Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker had given City a 3-0 lead.

Palmer's left-footed finish off fellow substitute Raheem Sterling's pass hinted at much more to come from the teen.

Hans Vanaken then pulled one back for the hosts before Mahrez rounded off the scoring.

At 19 years and 166 days, Palmer became only the third teenager to score for City in the Champions League after Phil Foden and Kelechi Iheanacho.

"Cole has a special quality in front of the box, a talent that is difficult to find," said Guardiola after the Group A win.

"When he has the ball there, most of the time it ends up in the net. It's difficult to find that."

But the City manager made it clear that Palmer would continue to be with the second team, while also training with the first team.

He hopes Palmer can follow in the footsteps of Foden, who played a starring role before coming off for Sterling.

"The people in this world want things immediately but everything needs time. You cannot cook a good dish if you don't spend time in the kitchen," said Guardiola.

"We also have Liam Delap, Sam Edozie, Luke Mbete, Romeo Lavia - five or six really good talented players in the academy. Who knows, if they continue to be humble and work, they can be important for Manchester City." - REUTERS, AFP

Football