From Man City’s stunning win at Real Madrid to Chelsea’s lesson at the hands of Bayern Munich, we round up the talking points from the midweek European action…
Last Updated: 26/02/20 10:56pm
De Bruyne turns on the magic for Man City
Manchester City beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu
There were Pep Guardiola’s bold, brave and unusual team selections and tactics. There was the selfless performance of Gabriel Jesus on the left wing before his equalising header. And there was the thrilling cameo from Raheem Sterling, who won the match-winning penalty. But Manchester City’s historic win at the Bernabeu owed so much to the brilliance of Kevin De Bruyne.
He crafted City’s first with his pinpoint clipped cross and, after so many of his team-mates had failed from the spot in recent weeks, he took the responsibility to slot home the winner from 12 yards. They were key moments and City’s key man stepped up. For the first time he scored and assisted in the same Champions League match.
He was brilliant throughout. Fielded in an unfamiliar false nine role, De Bruyne had fewer touches than usual but when he was on the ball he linked the play and dropped into pockets of space to thread passes through for City’s runners. His passing was immaculate, looking after City’s hard-fought possession.
Cool, calm, composed – the mentality which allowed him to score the decisive penalty also saw him measure his celebrations when the ball hit the net and speak of half a job done after the match. He knows there’s a long way still to go – but thanks to De Bruyne City have a fantastic chance of reaching the quarter-finals.
Gerrard relishing more European nights …