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Yesterday the paper talk correctly predicted that a number of City’s youngsters would be involved and this morning the column inches are dedicated to running the rule over their performance.
Tosin Adarabioyo and Angelino came off the bench to join Pablo Maffeo on the pitch as the Blues progressed by a six goal aggregate margin and ESPN’s Jonathan Smith believes the signs are certainly encouraging.
He writes: “Maffeo made his first start for City and the dynamic young full-back was lively and quick to embrace Guardiola's tactical revolution that sees his wide defenders supplement the midfield when City have the ball.
“Adarabioyo and Angelino, who made brief appearances in last season's doomed FA Cup run, came off the bench after an hour and showed they are ready and eager to challenge for the first team with lively cameos.
“It's early days and City were virtually already guaranteed in the Champions League stage, but it will already be a huge boost for the promising youngsters at City's £200 million Etihad Academy that Guardiola is prepared to give youth an opportunity.”
City held a commanding first leg lead, but it was a competent performance from a side which had made eight changes. Two men who appeared in both games were John Stones and Aleks Kolarov and last night’s centre-half pairing impressed the nation’s journalists.
That seems to be par for the course with the 22-year-old, according to BT Sport, who write: “Few players stood out in a largely uninspiring game, but this was Stones' fourth consecutive faultless appearance since joining City earlier this month.
“The elegant centre-back is clearly a big part of Guardiola's thinking and he looks the part.”
His partner at the heart of defence also caught the eye to prove it’s not just the youngsters who are blossoming under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage.
Indeed, the Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan felt the 30-year-old Serbian turned in a man of the match performance.
He reports: “More than anyone in the squad, the Serb has taken huge strides forward under Guardiola - he is a confident, assured centre back with a great passing range.”
That concludes our review of today’s papers, but our very own Mark Booth will be dissecting last night’s talking points later on today.
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