Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho got his first EPL goal for Manchester City as the Citizens edged out Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park.
The 18-year-old needed just seconds to record his name on the score sheet after coming in for Ivorian Winifred Bony.
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 Nasri’s spilled shot.
Iheanacho could not wipe the smile from his face after climbing off the bench to score with his first touch against Crystal Palace.
Speaking to newsmen after the game, Iheanacho said: “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.
“Palace is a great team – they have done well to be second in the Premier League table.
“I will try to do my best in 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.”
Iheanacho who was so impressive on pre-season for the first team, came up with the goods and he’s hoping for more opportunities to shine in the coming weeks.
The Manchester city coach Manuel Pellegrini was also full of praise for Iheanacho after the youngster got his first Premier League goal.
Iheanacho’s first EPL goal couldn’t have been better timed and the Blues’ boss believes the Nigerian will only get better in years to come – though he added he has plenty of hard work ahead of 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.”
In the other game, super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo was the hero of the day as his 59th minute strike was enough to end Swansea’s unbeaten run in the league.
Both Nigerians (Iheanacho and Ighalo) have been applauded for their heroics as accolades have continued to trickle in on Twitter.
See some below:
Iheanacho’s team mates, Silva, Sterling Zabaleta applaud him for his heroic.
Ighalo also applauded for his goal.
Both players were also applauded by coach Sunday Oliseh