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Pep Guardiola: I started Kelechi Iheanacho against Manchester United to send a message

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that he started Kelechi Iheanacho against Manchester United yesterday to prove that he intended to win the game.

With Sergio Aguero missing through suspension, Guardiola had the option to deploy a midfielder or winger as a false nine, but he instead turned to Iheanacho, and the youngster duly obliged by delivering a fine performance, during which he provided an assist and scored what proved to be the decisive goal in the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

As reported by Four Four Two, Guardiola said: “He was the only striker we had in that moment.I thought about many other options – but I thought in the beginning to show to my players that I came to win the game.”

Despite being just 19, Iheanacho, who is now City’s youngest ever goalscorer in the Manchester derby, is unfazed by playing in the Premier League and was hugely impressive on Saturday, creating two chances and completing 75% of his attempted passes.

Aguero is likely to return to the starting line-up for the Champions League encounter at home to Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek, but Iheanacho has demonstrated that he can be an extremely important member of Guardiola’s squad this season.

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