There's an old proverb that says, 'cometh the hour, cometh the man'. A similar feat was performed by Manchester City defender Kyle Walker. He needed to play as the goalkeeper during the closing stages of the game as the English side held on to a draw with Atalanta on Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League tie in Italy.
Walker replaced substitute goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Bravo was shown a red card for committing a sliding tackle on Josip Ilicic just outside the box. Bravo had already replaced first-choice keeper Ederson at half-time. So, City had no other option than to seek goalkeeping services from an outfield player. Walker came to the Sky Blues' rescue.
According to Pep Guardiola, Walker's courage made him the most suitable choice for being City's emergency goalkeeper. City was determined to secure points at San Siro. Hence, as reports suggest, Guardiola took suggestions from the goalkeeping coach before bestowing responsibilities onto the hands of Walker.
In a recent interview, the Man City manager said, "In this competition, you know you have your chances and moments and you have to take it. We didn't know before but Xavi Mancisidor, our goalkeeper coach, suggested him for his courage and because he is quick. We are lucky we only conceded one shot on target when he was in goal but congratulations for the courage and desire to help the team in this position."
Raheem Sterling's goal had given the visitors a 1-0 lead during the first half before Chelsea loanee Mario Pasalic scored the equaliser for Atalanta just four minutes into the second half. San Siro also witnessed City striker Gabriel Jesus missing a penalty shortly before half-time.
Previously, Guardiola was forced to replace Ederson as the latter picked up a muscular injury. As Sky Sports reports, Ederson will be doubtful for City's Premier League trip to Liverpool on Sunday.
Manchester City is now leading the Group C points table. The Sky Blues played four games and collected ten points with three wins and a draw. Atalanta is positioned at the bottom with just one point in four matches. Their only point came last night against Guardiola's boys.