I anticipated that one or two youngters would see some significant action today and whilst we have seen Vladimir Weiss before, it was a first glimpse of Dedryck Boyata - and the first look was an impressive one. He tackled well, was comfortable on the ball and had a confidence about him that belied his young age.
After the victory, Mancini was quick to praise the debutant:
“This was Dedryck’s first chance to shine at this level and I thought he did very well. The game will have given him confidence and helped him mentally to know that he is part of the squad.And on the victory itself:
For me both young players have bright futures and that is not just good for them but also the club. It is important to me and to the owners and to the fans as well that we continue to bring players through our Academy.”
"Benjani is a good player, and we brought him in three days ago and today he played well and scored and that is important," said Mancini.
"I am very happy with the win, for the players and the supporters."It is an important competition, Middlesbrough played well and after we scored, we played well."