Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that he chose Kyle Walker in goal last night because of his pace and courage.
The Premier League champions registered their first winless result of the Champions League this season after being held 1-1 by Atalanta. Raheem Sterling opened the scoring for City before Mario Pasalic headed in the equaliser early in the second half.
Manchester City made a substitution during the interval which saw Claudio Bravo come on for Ederson. The Chilean was later sent off in the 81st minute after fouling Josip Ilicic. This resulted in Walker being in goal for the remainder of the match. The right-back didn’t have much to do but made a routine save as the game ended 1-1.
Following the match, Guardiola praised Walker for his courage in donning the goalkeeping gloves. As quoted by Manchester Evening News, the Spaniard said: “We didn’t know before but Xavi Mancisidor, our goalkeeper coach, suggested him for his courage and because he is quick. We are lucky we only conceded one shot on target when he was in goal but congratulations for the courage and desire to help the team in this position.”
Being the goalkeeper in a professional football match when it’s not your preferred position is no child’s play and Walker deserves the praise for having the courage to be between the sticks regardless of the duration. Manchester City are almost certain of a place in knockout stages with ten points from four matches in the Champions League.
Their next match is against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.