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Media Watch: Press purr over Delph display

LIONS PRIDE: Fabian Delph was hailed for his key role in England's excellent 2-1 UEFA Nations League win over Croatia

LIONS PRIDE: Fabian Delph was hailed for his key role in England's excellent 2-1 UEFA Nations League win over Croatia

Monday’s media round-up features handsome praise for Fabian Delph after England’s UEFA Nations League heroics, news of an emotional Spanish send-off for David Silva and a first international call-up for a City teenager.

But we kick-off Monday's look at the City-centric news and headlines with rich words of praise from the Daily Mail for Delph.

The Manchester City midfielder was one of four Blues to feature in a superb 2-1 win over the Croatians which sealed England’s place at next summer’s UEFA Nations League finals with Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker also starting.

And according to the Mail’s Sami Mokbel, Delph produced a man-of-the-match display at the heart of the Three Lions’ midfield.

Mokbel writes: “Jordan Henderson was due to partner Eric Dier and Ross Barkley in central midfield against Croatia, but fresh concerns over the Liverpool star's hamstring saw Delph handed a surprise inclusion.

“He didn't disappoint. One moment he was picking the ball up off his centre backs, the next he was popping up deep inside the Croatian half trying to unlock their defence.

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“Full of energy, full of intent - Delph plotted his way through a midfield area - that included a certain Luka Modric - with the air of man who feels he belongs on this stage.

“On this evidence, Delph has a case to start England's first Euro 2020 qualifier next year.

“There was a moment in the 16th minute where he picked up possession in midfield before rolling the ball under his foot to beat one Croatian.

“Not content with that he dropped his shoulder to beat another before pinging a beautifully-weighted lofted pass to Raheem Sterling.

“You don't captain your country, as he did against USA on Thursday night, if you don't have something about you.

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“The fact he is involved in squad's leadership group underlines exactly how much he is valued by the England manager.

"England's unsung hero? Not so much now."

Meanwhile, Riyad Mahrez maintained his superb recent form by scoring twice to help his native Algeria qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

AFP scribes: “Manchester City star Mahrez scored twice as Algeria trounced Togo 4-1 in Lome on Sunday to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

“Mahrez netted either side of a Youcef Attal goal to give the 1990 champions a three-goal advantage within 30 minutes in the west African city.

“Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba pulled one back for Togo in the second half before Baghdad Bounedjah completed the scoring during stoppage-time.

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“The Algerians became the 10th qualifiers after Cameroon, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia and Uganda.”

On what was a busy Sunday packed with international football, the Mail also report on how City midfield marvel David Silva was honoured with a special presentation by Spain prior to their friendly with Bosnia.

Spencer Morgan reports: “The Manchester City playmaker retired from international duty earlier this year following a brilliant career in which he lifted a World Cup and two European Championships.

“Silva appeared on the pitch at the Estadio de Gran Canaria and was presented with a commemorative Spain shirt with the number 125 on – to signify his appearances.

“He was joined by 10-month old son Mateo, and the 32-year-old also performed a ceremonial kick-off to help get the game underway.

“Spain boss Luis Enrique hailed the attacking midfielder prior to his big send-off.

“I understand David Silva's reasons for his retirement,' Enrique said at a pre-match press conference. 

“As a player he's unique. He's an emblem of the national team for what he's achieved. You never heard a bad word about him. I'm glad we can give him a send-off.”

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Finally, there was good news for one of City’s phalanx of promising youngsters with Rabbi Matondo earning a first-ever call-up to the Wales senior squad.

The Manchester Evening News reports on how the 18-year-old has been has been drafted into the Wales squad for their game with Albania on Tuesday.

Simon Bajkowski reports: “The Manchester City youngster, who can call himself the fastest player at the entire club , has been given the opportunity to make his international debut after impressing Ryan Giggs with his performances at academy level.

“Born in Liverpool, the 18-year-old is also eligible to represent England but has gone through the youth ranks with Wales having spent the majority of his life in Cardiff.

“Matondo has been in excellent form for the Under-19 and EDS teams under Paul Harsley, who came from behind to beat Shakhtar Donetsk and keep their hopes of UEFA Youth League qualification alive.

“He has also had a taste of first-team life; as well as training with the senior side on a number of occasions, he was part of the squad in summer that toured the United States with Pep Guardiola.

“Matondo joins fellow City youngster Matt Smith in the Wales squad. Smith, born in Redditch, is on loan at Dutch club FC Twente for the season and made his international debut at the end of last season.”

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City quartet help England to Nations League finals

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City quartet Fabian Delph, Kyle Walker, John Stones and Raheem Sterling helped England to secure a place in the Nations League finals with a 2-1 win over Croatia.

The four Blues were all named in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI for the Three Lions’ final group stage game, with Delph playing 73 minutes and Walker, Stones and Sterling playing the full 90.

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