With both goalkeepers out of the match, Manchester City
goalkeeper defender Kyle Walker drew the short straw and went between the sticks in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta in Bergamo, Italy, on Wednesday.
[ RECAP: Man City 1-1 Atalanta ]
First clad in a black warm-up top before being forced into a pink “C. Bravo 1” shirt, Walker made two saves to preserve the point.
“I try and sometimes wind up the keepers in training telling them to catch it and stuff but as I found tonight sometimes you have to take two touches.”
City fullback Benjamin Mendy offered thanks to Walker for the saves and the point, which have the Group C leaders five points ahead of chasing Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk with two matches to play.
“Yeah I think tonight was a very tough game, we know it before the game and how we fight until the end to not keep a score, I say again thank you Kyle,” Mendy said. “Because it’s very not easy to take this responsibility to be a goalkeeper and save the free-kick and it’s one game we’re going to remember it for when we go forward in the cup.”
[ WATCH: Walker saves free kick ]
Pep Guardiola said he does not know whether Ederson will be fit for Sunday’s huge match at Anfield.
“It’s a muscular [thigh] problem,” he told The Manchester Evening News. “It was not big but to avoid risk. He didn’t feel comfortable in the last minutes and that’s why we decided to make a substitution.”
City has big games before their remaining two UCL fixtures, and may not be able to front load its lineup for at least one. Chelsea, itself in UCL uncertainty, visits the Etihad on Nov. 23 before Man City hosts Shakhtar Donetsk in the UCL. And City hosts the Manchester Derby before its final group stage match at Dinamo Zagreb.