Pep Guardiola hailed the performance of Micah Hamilton after the youngster’s dream debut in Manchester City’s Champions League win at Red Star Belgrade.
The 20-year-old academy graduate and former ballboy marked his first senior appearance with a fine goal as the holders wrapped up the group stage with a 3-2 win in Serbia.
He also won a penalty while fellow prospect Oscar Bobb got on the scoresheet after Guardiola rotated his squad for what was a dead rubber for already-qualified City.
“What a goal and what a game,” Guardiola said of Hamilton at his post-match press conference.
“I am so happy for him. He is training often with us and we saw his skills one against one. He scored a fantastic goal and made a penalty.
“When he could not make one against one he made extra passes and defensively was aggressive.
“Congratulations to all at the academy for the last years. How many players came up, how many players we sold who are playing already in the Premier League and Championship, and more.”
The penalty Hamilton won late in the game was converted by Kalvin Phillips, who was making a rare start for the treble winners, and made the game safe between Red Star replies from Hwang In-beom and Aleksandar Katai.
England midfielder Phillips has struggled to establish himself since joining the club from Leeds last year.
Guardiola said: “He is an incredibly good taker of penalties. I know Phil (Foden) has ambition to do it but Kalvin is an incredible penalty-taker. The game was not over, and (it was) for his confidence.
“It was a difficult game. They made man to man all over the pitch. They were aggressive, a lot of interruptions, a lot of fouls. It was not easy to play comfortably but in the right moment we found our quality.”
Bobb’s appearance continued his development with the Norwegian having been on the fringes of the first team throughout this season.
He has already made a handful of substitute appearances and the game at Red Star was his second start.
Guardiola said: “It is not easy to give opportunities at this level. It is really good to see them play.
“I think Oscar is the reality. It was a top-class goal. I am very pleased for the result, for the performance in general, the effort from everyone, how the seniors helped the young lads.”