Manchester City’s Delap can’t stop smiling after dream debut

Manchester City’s Liam Delap (second left) celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal. (AP pic)

MANCHESTER: Teenage Manchester City striker Liam Delap said being named in the starting line-up for Thursday’s League Cup clash against Bournemouth caught him off guard but that he would be smiling for weeks after marking his senior debut with a goal.

Delap, the son of former Stoke City defender Rory, scored the opener for Pep Guardiola’s side in the 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, running on to Phil Foden’s through ball and firing past Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers.

“It was a bit of a shock to be put in the starting line-up but I took it with a pinch of salt and just worked my hardest,” the 17-year-old told BBC.

“I was buzzing to get the call up and to top it with a goal, I can’t ask for much more.”

“I need to keep working hard in training and look to take every opportunity I get. It will take a few weeks to stop smiling.”

With Sergio Aguero still battling a knee injury, Guardiola said Delap would have more opportunities to impress.

“We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, he will stay with us. We will use him,” Guardiola said.

“At 17, Liam is a different striker to what we have in terms of physicality.

“We see in training how good a finisher he is. Now is the time to be calm and keep working. We are delighted with his performance.”