Man City's Guardiola hails terrific tyros
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed their vibrant young frontline as the future of the club after they tore West Ham United apart in a bruising 4-0 Premier League win on Wednesday.
City were rampant in a one-sided first half as goals from Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and January signing Gabriel Jesus put them 3-0 ahead at the break.
Yaya Toure slammed home from the spot in the second half to complete a resounding win.
It was City's attacking trio, however, that caught the eye, with Jesus, making his first league start, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane producing scintillating performances that left West Ham chasing shadows.
"We played a front three with an average age of 20. I like the fans to be excited," Guardiola told the BBC.
"Those players are the future of the club. Leroy Sane had some problems at the beginning but now he's settled. They will be important players for the next few years."
The selection of Jesus, who joined from Brazilian club Palmeiras, had raised eyebrows as it meant there was no place in the starting lineup for City's striking talisman Sergio Aguero.
The 19-year-old Jesus took the occasion in his stride, however, and set up De Bruyne for City's opener as well as finding the target himself.
"Gabriel Jesus is a fighter with an instinct for the goal. He's good at assists too," Guardiola added.
Starting Aguero on the bench was not Guardiola's only brave selection call, as there was also no place in the City side for goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Bravo arrived from Barcelona in the close season, with England keeper Joe Hart leaving City to join Torino on loan.
The Chilean has endured a difficult start to life in the Premier League, however, and was benched in favour of Willy Caballero.
"I have a lot of confidence in both (Bravo and Caballero). Just I decide today for Willy. Another day I might decide for another player like Bravo," Guardiola said.
The Spaniard would not be drawn, however, on his side for the weekend.
"I'm going to enjoy our victory and then think about our next game tomorrow," he said when asked who would start in goal against Swansea City on Sunday.
City stun in London again!
HIGHLIGHTShttps://t.co/SQMYeeltX2 #whuvcity #mcfc pic.twitter.com/QcjpI2NGLP
Manchester City (@ManCity) February 2, 2017