During Wednesday’s UEFA Champion’s League match against Atalanta, Manchester City’s starting goalkeeper Ederson was subbed off and reserve keeper Claudio Bravo got a red card so the team had to reach deep into its depth chart. Enter defender Kyle Walker, who, after grabbing some gloves and a shirt change, took over between the pipes
Coming in for the final ten minutes of play, Walker ended up having more saves than the actual goalkeepers who played in the game for his team before him.
After Bravo was sent off with a red card, he high-fived Walker into the game who immediately came in and recorded a save. As the broadcasters said, “Well it was a save, but not exactly a comforting one.”
But it was a save.
Stuart Brennan, a Manchester City writer at the Manchester Evening News, wrote that the crowd, well at least MCFC fans, were chanting “England’s number one!” to Walker during the match.
After the match, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy spoke to reporters with Walker next to him and said, “Thank you, Kyle,” going on to applaud him for taking on the responsibility of goalkeeper.
When asked if he volunteered or if he was chosen, Walker said, “I think it was a little bit of both.”
Walker joked about needing two touches to stop the ball but spoke seriously on the match saying, “All jokes aside we came here to get a point or a victory. We knew it was going to be difficult they play man-to-man, they’re a good team and they’re in the Champions League for a reason.”
Manchester City will face Liverpool on Nov. 10 in Premier League play, and now know they know who can be leaned on as an emergency goalkeeper if needed.