A match-winning effort from a Portuguese superstar, much to the surprise of supporters who had thought he might be playing elsewhere this season. Yes, Bernardo Silva was sensational as he scored the game's sole goal in Manchester City's 1-0 victory against Leicester City on Saturday, with the away fans savoring every last drop of his 62nd-minute shot. What made you believe we were talking about someone else? Naturally, much attention was paid to how a particular Bernardo comrade fared upon his return to his hometown on the other side of town, but the two-way outpouring of love and devotion following the game's crucial moment was breathtaking. Football game snapshots are not windows into the true lives of the players we support and yell for, talented human beings who are sometimes wrongly blamed for our explosive emotions.
Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's fist goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester City at The King Power Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Leicester, England."/>
Bernardo, on the other hand, seemed so delighted as he dashed off in celebration towards the away supporters, and it felt great. There's no reason to disbelieve rumors that the former Monaco midfielder has been dissatisfied with his life in Manchester in recent months. If he is personally dissatisfied, a goal in a Premier League game is unlikely to make a significant difference. Nonetheless, the ball smashing into the net - the kind of scruffy goal City seemed incapable of grabbing in a hard-fought match - prompted scenes of unrestrained jubilation. It was fantastic for fans to be able to experience that with Bernardo again, and he appeared to appreciate it just as much as they did. When Bernado's future was up in the air during the transfer window, the club-record signing of Jack Grealish seemed to lend weight to the argument that his time at City was up.
Nonetheless, at Leicester, the two combined to provide a dual-threat down the left side that the Foxes struggled to handle. Bernardo is departing. In the sixth minute, Caglar Soyuncu sprawled out on the ground before crossing for Gabriel Jesus to head dangerously near to Kasper Schmeichel, setting the tone for Pep Guardiola's team's dominating start. Despite the fact that City chose an unchanged starting XI for the third game in a row, his set-up in the first half took Leicester off guard. As City had five attackers stretched out to occupy and outnumber Brendan Rodgers' players, Guardiola was anxious to spread the pitch, with Bernardo frequently lined up as a left-sided striker in possession, with Grealish outside him.
With the ball at their feet, Grealish and Bernardo are both brilliant, and having such superb dribblers swapping control felt unjust at times. Rodri and Aymeric Laporte must have felt similarly when they were pushed into first-half yellow cards as Leicester responded with determination. Bernardo might have been zipping around next to Rodri, putting out those fires, if he had taken a different tactical approach. Guardiola gave him an unusual offensive brief, and he ended up becoming City's best player. On days like today, the Premier League winners would have struggled if he had gone because of his flexibility.
Grealish was able to rove from the left side, enticing many defenders and exhibiting a smoother, more in sync with his City team-mates rhythm than previously. This will only get better as the weeks pass in this hectic time of year. Grealish was forced to play a part in the victory, cutting back for Joao Cancelo's deflected shot, which Bernardo snatched. At full-time, the former Aston Villa favourite basked in the adoration of the City fans, who sang his name, hailing him as a hero everywhere he goes. After a typically relentless performance, Bernardo slumped on the ground, hands on knees, gasping in air. Their pictures matched up precisely, just as in the game. Guardiola may have accepted that he would never get to see Grealish and Bernardo's budding partnership. This season, it may be the difference-maker for him.
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