Kelechi Iheanacho’s middle name is Promise - and he showed bags of it last night to suggest Manchester City have a star in the making.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho’s middle name is Promise – and he showed bags of it last night to suggest Manchester City have a star in the making.

Kelechi came off the bench to score his first City goal against Crystal Palace last month and he continued his rapid rise on his full debut for the Blues.

The Nigerian, who only turned 19 at the start of this month and trained at the Ghanaian academy Right to Dream, scored one and made another as Manuel Pellegrini’s City slickers thumped Palace.

Kelechi played with real confidence and the African could end up saving City more than a few quid in the transfer market if he keeps developing like this.

Kevin de Bruyne and Fernando were City’s other stand-out performers as the Blues progressed to the last eight of the Capital One Cup without breaking sweat.

Manuel Pellegrini made six changes, as did Alan Pardew, but chose not to rest Kevin de Bruyne.

It was easy to see why he felt he needed his £54million record signing and the Belgian sprinted down the left to plant a right-foot shot just past the far post in an early warning to Palace of his potency.

Palace had a go and Yannick Bolasie headed over from their first attempt before he was denied by the outstretched left hand of Willy Caballero after Joe Ledley’s shot had been blocked by Martin Demichelis.

City were always that bit better than Palace and opened the scoring midway through the half when Aleksandar Kolarov swung over a corner from the left for Bony to head home his third of the season from the penalty spot.

This double act clicked again when Kolarov crossed from the left to Bony, but the striker’s deflected shot was saved by Wayne Hennessey.

Pellegrini handed Kelechi Iheancho, who scored the winner when the sides met last month, his first start and the exciting teenager helped make City’s excellent second goal a minute before half-time.

Pablo Zabaleta, who suffered a nasty clash of heads with Bolasie, fed him on the right and the Nigerian played the ball across goal for de Bruyne to tap home his sixth Blues goal.

Ledley was presented with a glorious chance to pull a goal back when Caballero spilt a low cross, but he shot over the top.

City were opening Palace up virtually at will and Bony scooped a left-foot shot well over after Kelechi and Fernando had combined to set him up.

Palace refused to lie down and Demichelis cleared off the line from Mile Jedinak’s header before Patrick Bamford had a shot blocked by Eliaquim Mangala

In between those attempts, City added a third on 59 minutes when de Bruyne, who had just been denied by Hennessey, slid the ball across to Kelechi, who took one touch before scoring into the bottom corner.

City were not finished and Yaya Toure added a fourth from the penalty spot on 76 minutes after Damien Delaney, perhaps inspired by the World Cup, rugby tackled Mangala.

Delaney headed in a consolation before Manu Garcia wrapped up matters with a fifth late on.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.