By Rachael Ugiagbe

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Coach Manuel Pellegrini has hailed Nigerian youngster Kelechi Iheanacho for his superb performance in Manchester City’s 5-1 win over Crystal Palace in the third round of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Kelechi, who won the man-of-the-match award with a goal and two assists made his Manchester City senior debut and scored the decisive goal against Palace in the Premier League.

“It was very important for Kelechi to demonstrate once again that he’s a very good player,” the manager said.

“He’s not just a striker – he provided two assists – I’m very happy for him. He has things to improve but he’s working in the correct way.

“I had no doubt in him – I see how he works every day and his personality is important and it’s important for him to play with important players.

“Kelechi is not a box striker, he’s not just a finisher – he must improve his control as he needs to do it better but he always plays with his head up as he showed creating the goal for Kevin.

“After that, with more space for Manu Garcia. He’s a player who can play behind the striker or as a striker and he can arrive into the box to score the goals as he did tonight.”

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