Kyle Walker was seen as the most suitable choice as Manchester City’s emergency goalkeeper due to his “courage”, according to Pep Guardiola.

Walker had an evening to remember in Milan as the City full-back ended up between the posts on a bizarre night for Guardiola’s side.

  • Man City survive scare with Walker in goal
  • Pep: Ederson might miss Liverpool trip

Substitute goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saw red at the San Siro, and Walker was chosen to come off the bench to replace him.

Guardiola revealed afterwards that he took the recommendation of his goalkeeping coach as City fought to preserve a point.

“We didn’t know before but Xavi Mancisidor, our goalkeeper coach, suggested him for his courage and because he is quick,” he said.

“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.”

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Raheem Sterling had put City on course for the knockout stages with his seventh-minute opener, but after Gabriel Jesus had missed from the penalty spot shortly before half-time, things took a turn for the worse at the interval.

Guardiola was forced to replace Ederson after he picked up a muscular injury during the first period, making him a doubt for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Liverpool, live on Sky Sports.

His replacement Bravo’s first job was to pick Mario Pasalic’s bullet header out of the net. In an extraordinary turn of events, Bravo was then sent off for a challenge on Josip Ilicic, with right-back Walker going in goal for the final 10 minutes.

There were at least six minutes between Bravo leaving the field and Walker donning the gloves, and the England international saved the resulting free-kick from Ruslan Malinovskyi as City managed to see out the closing minutes.

Asked afterwards if it was his decision to volunteer himself or the call of Guardiola and his coaching staff, Walker said: “It was a bit of both.

“I try sometimes to wind up the goalkeepers in training by telling them to catch it and stuff but as I found out tonight, sometimes you need two touches.

“All jokes aside, we came here to get a point or a victory. We knew it would be difficult because they go man-to-man and are 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 take that on. Now the focus is on Liverpool for Sunday.”

Walker’s cameo in pictures

Fernandinho: Walker showed spirit of the team

The focus now turns to Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield, but not before Walker and his team-mates could reflect on an unlikely end to their encounter with Atalanta, with makeshift centre-back Fernandinho also asked about how Walker took it upon himself to see City over the line.

“The situation of the game asked for it, and we had to choose who went in goal,” the Brazilian said afterwards. “He was the one who lifted his hand. In bad situations like this, we have to stick together, and tonight we proved that we play as a team.

“At the end of the game,we were one man down with Kyle in the goal, but we didn’t concede any chances for them to score. I think this shows the spirit of the team.”

‘He’s laughing his face off’

There was plenty of laughter and confusion in the Soccer Special studio as Walker emerged from the dug-out as the third man gearing to guard the Manchester City goal.

One man who saw the funny side of the incident was Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini…

Twitter reaction: ‘Don’t worry lads, I’ve got this!’

Outfield players to play in goal

Cosmin Moti, Ludogorets vs Steaua Bucharest, 2014

Ludogorets centre-back Moti remains the standard for stand-in goalkeepers after his heroics in 2014 earned his side Champions League qualification.

He donned the gloves in the last minute of extra-time after Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off and after the game went to a shootout, Moti scored and then saved two penalties to secure the Bulgarians a place in the group stage.

Phil Jagielka, Sheffield United vs Arsenal, 2006

Neil Warnock was not a fan of using a place on his bench for a back-up keeper, leading to Jagielka filling in on a number of occasions during his Sheffield United days – most memorably in a 1-0 win over Arsenal in the Premier League.

The centre-back played a third of the match in goal after Paddy Kenny was forced off injured in the 60th minute and he kept the Gunners at bay, making saves to deny Robin van Persie and Julio Baptista in a backs-to-the-wall display from the Blades.

John O’Shea, Manchester United vs Tottenham, 2007

When Edwin van der Sar suffered a broken nose, United were already 4-0 up but had made all their substitutions, meaning O’Shea stepped up to the fore.

Rio Ferdinand initially took the goalkeeper’s jersey, only to be told that O’Shea would be a better bet, and the Republic of Ireland defender made a fine save when charging from his line to tackle international colleague Robbie Keane.

Harry Kane, Tottenham vs Asteras Tripoli, 2014

The evening was going pretty well for Kane, having already scored a hat-trick in the Europa League tie at White Hart Lane.

However, after Hugo Lloris was sent off with three minutes remaining, a volunteer was required to go in goal. Kane did the honours but blotted his copybook by letting a late, tame shot from Jeronimo Barrales slip through his grasp and trickle into the net.

Vinnie Jones, Wimbledon v Newcastle, 1995

Dons number one Paul Heald was sent off in the 57th minute and, with all three substitutes having already been made, a young midfielder by the name of Jones volunteered to go in goal.

He conceded three goals in a 6-1 defeat at St James’ Park but it could have been worse as Jones made a number of saves.