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Walker jokes about training-ground mockery of keepers following incredible cameo

The England defender was introduced in place of Riyad Mahrez and donned the gloves ultimately.

Kyle Walker in the Manchester City goal.
Kyle Walker in the Manchester City goal.

KYLE WALKER REVEALED his training-ground mocking of the Manchester City goalkeepers contributed to his unorthodox role at Atalanta, where he found life a little tougher than anticipated.

Right-back Walker ended the match at San Siro in goal after Ederson was injured and substitute Claudio Bravo was sent off in the 1-1 draw.

The England defender was introduced in place of Riyad Mahrez and donned the gloves, remarkably making the only save of all three City keepers from Ruslan Malinovskiy’s free-kick following the foul that saw Bravo dismissed.

Walker saw out the remaining nine minutes and stoppage time without conceding, before reflecting on a bizarre outing.

Asked if he had made the decision to go in goal himself or been instructed to do so, Walker told BT Sport: “I think it was a little bit of both.

“I try to sometimes banter the keepers in training, telling them to catch it and stuff. But as I found tonight, sometimes you do have to take two touches.

“All jokes aside, we came here to get a point or a victory. We knew it was going to be difficult because they play man-to-man, they’re a good team and they’re in the Champions League for a reason.

“To come away from here with how we ended the game with a draw is a good point, and we’ll take that on now.”

Defensive colleague Benjamin Mendy thanked Walker for seeing City through a tense finale.

“I think tonight was a very tough game. We knew it before the game,” he said. “And how we fought until the end to keep [a point], I say thank you to Kyle.

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“It’s not easy to take this responsibility going to be a goalkeeper and saving the free-kick. It’s one game we’re going to remember going forward in this cup.”

Manager Pep Guardiola added with a smile: “We had a good first half, but in the second half we suffered a lot. In the last 15 minutes we had the situation we had with the new goalkeeper in our squad.”

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