Saturday, September 12, 2015 7:46 pm
Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Manchester City’s 125th different Premier League goalscorer could not wipe the smile from his face after climbing off the bench to score with his first touch against Crystal Palace.
He was introduced after 89 minutes in a tough, goalless match at Selhurst Park and promptly netted his first Premier League goal after reacting quickest to Samir Nasir’s spilled shot.
The Nigerian, so impressive on pre-season for the first team, was grateful to Coach Manuel Pellegrini for handing him his opportunity.
“It means so much to me,” he beamed. “I’m happy and very grateful and I thank the manager for introducing me.
“The fans went crazy when I scored. We are all happy.”
It had proved to have been the toughest assessment of City’s season so far as Crystal Palace went toe-to-toe with the league’s only team with a 100% record.
Just when it looked as though the game was petering out to a goalless draw, Kelechi came up with the goods and he’s hoping for more opportunities to shine in the coming weeks.
“Palace is a great team – they have done well to be second in the Premier League table,” the Nigerian declared.
“I will try to do my best in training and in games if I’m introduced. I’m hoping to do great for the team.
“It’s not easy. We have great players here but I have to keep working hard.
“We are much stronger this season with quality players. We are going to go all the way.”
Coach Pellegrini was relieved that Kelechi put in the vital goal. He was also full of praises for the Nigerian youngster, saying there is much more to come from him.
“Kelechi scored the goal and he had another chance. Kelechi is a very young player – he’s just 18 years old. He worked with the rest of the team all week,” said Pellegrini.
*Report Excerpted from City website