Pellegrini sings Iheanacho praises

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini had "no doubt" that Kelechi Iheanacho would seize the opportunity to impress in his first start for the club.

The Nigerian teenager was named Man of the Match after contributing a goal and two assists in his side's 5-1 win over Crystal Palace in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Wilfried Bony, Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Manu Garcia were also on target for City at the Etihad Stadium, while Palace scored a late consolation goal through Damien Delaney.

But Pellegrini reserved special praise for Iheanacho, who has now made his sixth appearance of the season for the Citizens, and reiterated his belief that there is much more to come from the 19-year-old striker.

"It was very important for Kelechi to demonstrate once again that he's a very good player," the Chilean said at the post-match press conference.

"He's not just a striker – he provided two assists – I'm very happy for him. He has things to improve but he's working in the correct way.

"I had no doubt in him – I see how he works every day and his personality is important and it's important for him to play with important players.

"Kelechi is not a box striker, he's not just a finisher – he must improve his control as he needs to do it better but he always plays with his head up as he showed creating the goal for Kevin [De Bruyne].

"After that, with more space for Manu Garcia. He's a player who can play behind the striker or as a striker and he can arrive into the box to score the goals as he did tonight."

Pellegrini was pleased to see Iheanacho and Bony working well together in the absence of Sergio Aguero.

"I think this moment it's important for the team to have Kelechi and Bony as options without Kun," he added.

"They can play both together as they did tonight. Bony played well tonight. Of course Kelechi was very impressive but Wilfried is quiet as he knows he has my trust and his team-mates' trust.

"Kun is impossible to replace but we know we have another option in attack."