US men's national team and former Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen drew another start for Manchester City on Sunday and put in another solid shift between the posts as City took a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Birmingham FC in FA Cup action.
City shot out on top early in the contest and never looked back, getting goals from Bernardo Silva in the 8th and 15th minute before a 33rd-minute strike from Phil Foden wound up standing as the game's final goal.
Zack Steffen with another solid performance in Man City's 3-0 win over Birmingham City in the FA Cup.— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) January 10, 2021
2/2 long balls
Clean sheet. pic.twitter.com/WfH2Llo1CW
It continues Steffen's strong showing since he was thrust into the starting role due after regular starter Ederson tested positive for COVID-19. Steffen has deputized well in his absence, starting victories against Chelsea and Manchester United in addition to Sunday's FA Cup victory.
It's been enough to draw some notable praise from City manager Pep Guardiola, who said that he feels as though Steffen has shown he can compete for the starting role, even if Ederson remains the clear-cut No. 1 option for the time being.
“[Steffen] can fight for No.1,” Guardiola said via Manchester City's official website. “He can put pressure on Eddie, but Eddie is the No.1 in this position right now. If he performs well, he stays No.1. But we cannot forget he [Steffen] played at Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and solved all the situations he faced brilliantly.”
Ederson has reportedly returned to training, meaning Steffen figures to resume his role as the No. 2 goalkeeper soon, but his play in relief should bode well for the 25-year-old backstop going forward as he looks to make his name in the Premier League.