Grealish twice goes agonisingly close to putting tie beyond Real… before Rodrygo sparked comeback


‘That would change Grealish’s City career’: £100m man goes agonisingly close to putting Champions League semi-final beyond Real Madrid in the 87th minute TWICE… before Rodrygo sparked incredible comeback just three minutes later

  • Jack Grealish has struggled to adapt since joining for club record £100m
  • He came on as a substitute in 78th minute with City leading 5-3 on aggregate 
  • Midfielder twice went agonisingly close to putting the tie beyond Real Madrid
  • But Spanish giants staged amazing comeback to reach Champions League final

Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish endured more torment in the devastating Champions League defeat at Real Madrid.

The midfielder has struggled to adapt following his club record £100million move from Aston Villa last summer. 

He came on as a substitute in 78th minute with City leading 1-0 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate and twice went agonisingly close to putting the tie beyond the Spanish giants on Wednesday night.

Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish endured more torment on Wednesday night

Grealish had a shot cleared off the line by Ferland Mendy – and another effort diverted just past the post by the foot of Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut C Courtois.

Rodrygo then scored twice in injury-time as Real Madrid staged a remarkable comeback to win 3-1 on the night and 6-5 on aggregate at the Bernabeu.

Afterwards Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘That changes everything for Grealish, that going in (chance when Mendy cleared off the line).

The Manchester City midfielder had a shot cleared off the line by Ferland Mendy late on

The Manchester City midfielder had a shot cleared off the line by Ferland Mendy late on

‘Whether you think he’s been good or bad or average, that would change Grealish’s City career.’

It was tough on Grealish, who has had a slow start to life with Pep Guardiola’s men. 

He has made 35 appearances, but only managed five goals. And from his 20 starts in the Premier League the 26-year-old has managed just two goals and two assists.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted Grealish’s lack of starts for the team is down to ‘tactical reasons’, explaining that he simply cannot drop Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden at present.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois diverted another Grealish effort just past the post

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois diverted another Grealish effort just past the post

The England midfielder has had to adapt his game after linking up with the reigning Premier League champions and has struggled to find his feet at times, and while Guardiola says the player can ‘make an impact’ he claimed Mahrez and Foden gave the team a much greater chance of opening teams up and scoring goals. 

Guardiola said: ‘He can [have an impact]. Nothing changes just because in that position Riyad has been with us for a long time and in important games he gives you something unique and special.

‘And Phil Foden is so determined, his will and many things. Phil, always, his impact in the game is huge – it’s just for that reason.’

Raheem Sterling is another player struggling for minutes, and Guardiola stressed that neither he nor Grealish were ‘bad’ players and offered other qualities that he requires in certain scenarios.

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