Rico Lewis: Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says teenager is ‘one of the best’ players he’s ever coached

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Rico Lewis impressed as Man City earned a 3-1 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League; the 18-year-old became the youngest City player to register an assist in the competition when he set up Phil Foden; City boss Pep Guardiola: “He is one of the best I’ve ever trained by far”

Teenager Rico Lewis impressed for Manchester City against RB Leipzig on Wednesday

Pep Guardiola hailed Rico Lewis as one of the best players he has ever coached after his starring role in Manchester City’s Champions League win at RB Leipzig.

​​​​The 18-year-old produced a commanding display as the holders maintained the winning start to their Champions League defence with a 3-1 success at the Red Bull Arena on Wednesday.

Lewis, who made his first-team breakthrough as a right-back last season, had a hand in Phil Foden’s opening goal and proved City’s main driving force throughout.

RB Leipzig 1-3 Man City – Match report and reaction

Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills reacts to Wednesday’s 3-1 win at RB Leipzig in the Champions League

City manager Guardiola, the former Barcelona boss whose past players have included Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta said: “What a player! What a player!

“I’ve been a manager for 14, 15 years and lucky to train one of the best players in the world in Barcelona.

“To find a player like him playing in the pockets, how he has to move as a holding midfielder, moving in the spaces, he is one of the best I’ve ever trained by far.

“He’s a humble guy, doesn’t talk much. He didn’t play much this season but he is going to play a lot.”

Despite Lewis’ contributions, it took the introduction of substitutes Julian Alvarez and Jeremy Doku to secure a hard-fought victory.

City controlled the first half and led at the break through Foden’s 25th-minute strike but they were pegged back after the restart by Lois Openda.

The second half was a frustrating affair with Erling Haaland missing several chances and Foden hitting the bar but Alvarez made the breakthrough with a stunning effort on 84 minutes.

Doku wrapped up a second successive win in Group G in injury time and after back-to-back defeats domestically, Guardiola was pleased to get back to winning ways.

He said: “Three or four days ago it was no progress because we lost in Wolves. It was important to break that.

“We played a fantastic game in all departments. We conceded two or three transitions in the second half but it’s normal. When a team is able to make a lot of passes early on, very nice things are going to happen in the game.

“The guys who came from the bench, the contribution they have done is the key point. Everyone helped each other. I am really satisfied. It was a tough game.”

Aged 18 years and 317 days, Lewis is City’s youngest player to register an assist in the Champions League

Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds:

“The presence of Rodri, who is currently serving a domestic ban, brought a noticeable calm that was missing in his absence in Saturday’s defeat at Wolves.

“Yet it was Rico Lewis, playing alongside him in midfield, who caught the eye with his determination to win possession and some driving runs.

“Lewis had City’s first serious opportunity after a nice turn in the area but his shot was blocked. He was always showing, always involved.

“City’s opener came after 25 minutes from another attack instigated by Lewis, finished by Phil Foden, made in Manchester.

“At 1-1, Erling Haaland very nearly found the late breakthrough before it did come thanks to Lewis’ lovely five-yard pass. Some had begun questioning City’s depth after two straight defeats, but here came an emphatic response.”

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