Youngster Kelechi Iheanacho came off the bench and became the savior for Manchester City as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 on Saturday at Selhurst Park.
The 18-year-old Nigerian made his second appearance for City, coming off the bench for Wilfried Bony. He hadn’t been on the field for very long when he ended up scoring the winner with his first ever Premier League in added time.
Iheanacho pounced on a rebound after a shot by Samir Nasri that Crystal Palace goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was unable to parry out of danger. The young striker was elated after the final whistle, flinging his shirt up into the stands to the traveling City fans.
Iheanacho signed for City in 2014 from the Taye Academy in Nigeria. City manager Manuel Pellegrini has some very high hopes for the youngster.
“He’s a very important player for the future for us,” Pellegrini said. “He’s one of the reasons I didn’t bring in another striker when we sold Edin Dzeko.”
In a team filled with superstars, Iheanacho is one of few players that most people might not know about. Palace manager Alan Pardew did not know about Ihenacho before this game.
“I had to look at his shirt to check who he was,” said Alan Pardew. “But then City have so many players. It’s a problem going forward. People forget that not only are they building a very strong first XI, but they’re snapping up a lot of young players from around the globe making it very difficult for everyone else.”
City star striker Sergio Aguero left the game with an injury in the first half, so there might be more opportunities for Iheanacho in the near future.