Rico Lewis has revealed he played through a calf issue on Thursday night as Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2.
The Premier League champions came from two goals down to beat Antonio Conte’s side, with Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland getting City on level terms before a Riyad Mahrez brace wrapped up all three points. Lewis put in another impressive display and occupied a hybrid right-back/midfield role which allowed City to dominate possession throughout the game.
But Lewis was on the receiving end of some robust challenges from a physical Spurs side, one in particular from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg caused him obvious pain midway through the first half as the Danish international landed on top of him after challenging for the ball. The full-back did manage to continue following the incident, but was replaced by Kyle Walker in the latter stages of the game after he dropped to the ground near the centre circle shortly after Mahrez’s second goal.
Speaking after the game, Lewis revealed he played through the pain against Spurs and only went off when he felt others could contribute more. “[I was] just running it off at first,” the teenager said on Thursday.
“And then as the second half went on I was still running it off but I felt more my calf and then that’s when I felt like I couldn’t run as much as someone coming on could. I was thinking about the team, not myself.”
Asked if he received specialist treatment by Spurs, Lewis responded: “Not targeted, but I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time - you know what I mean. I think it happens to everyone in games, perhaps it just tonight happened to me. It’s something you’ve just got to get on with.
On Hojbjerg, he added: “He was just telling me he wasn’t meaning to do it - whatever that means. I don’t really take much notice. It didn’t really make much sense!”
Guardiola will hope Lewis’ calf issue settles down in time for City’s Premier League clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. Incredibly, the youth-team graduate has outshone fellow full-backs Walker and Joao Cancelo in recent weeks and both started on the bench on Thursday, while Lewis started and kept Heung-min Son relatively quiet.