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Youngsters earn derby praise

BRIGHT FUTURE: A strong performance from young Pablo Maffeo.

BRIGHT FUTURE: A strong performance from young Pablo Maffeo.

It’s the morning after derby day and therefore there's plenty of media reaction to wade through in the wake of last night’s defeat.

A disappointing result for the Blues, but there were positives, with youngsters Aleix Garcia and Pablo Maffeo earning praise for solid performances in their Manchester derby debuts.

Pep Guardiola singled both out in his post-match reaction and journalists were certainly in agreement.

Up against Paul Pogba and the experienced Michael Carrick, Garcia looked comfortable in the engine room, with ESPN’s Nick Miller impressed with his use of the ball.

He writes: “On the plus side, young midfielder Aleix Garcia was excellent, and looks like the sort of player that Guardiola would grow in a lab if he had some spare time.

“Always looking for the ball, always using it in a smart way, he barely played a pass longer than 10 or 15 yards, is less flashy and therefore doesn't immediately stand out quite as much. But everything has a purpose, shifting the ball around quickly, not trying anything needless.”

A tireless display from his fellow Spaniard also caught the eye, with the Mirror’s David Anderson suggesting Pablo Maffeo has all the attributes to make the City right back slot his own.

Picking the 19-year-old’s showing out as one of the game’s key talking points, Anderson speculates: “Pablo Maffeo may be the answer to Guardiola's problem at right-back. Guardiola feels he needs a younger right-back because Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna are the wrong side of 30.

“But Maffeo's accomplished performance on only his second start for City suggests he has the potential to become the Blues' long-term right-back."

It was a man of the match performance according to ESPN’s Simon Curtis, who handed Maffeo the highest rating out of all those wearing sky blue.

“Still running his socks off in attack in injury time, the young right-back was the pick of the bunch for City,” enthused Curtis.

“[He] enjoyed a lively start against Marcus Rashford and put in two critical blocks on Pogba and Rashford. Must be edging toward the starting XI with that performance against a strong Man United side.”

Last night’s defeat makes it six games without a win for the Blues. After a flying start much has been made of this dip in form, but Guardiola won't be panicking and Sky Sports highlight why.

The Catalan went five games without winning in his debut season at Barcelona, but there was an emphatic reaction and the aftermath proved particularly fruitful.

“After the fifth game came the response. Barcelona won seven in a row, scoring 22 goals in the process.

“They went on to win La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League that season. Barca never went more than three games without a win under Guardiola again.”

And on that note, we conclude today’s media round up. Keep an eye on mancity.com throughout the day as our focus switches to Satuday’s trip to the West Midlands.

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