New footage captures Pep Guardiola’s unseen reaction to Vinicius destroying Fernandinho

New footage has emerged capturing the unseen reaction of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to Real Madrid’s second goal in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg.

Vinicius Junior skimmed City’s temporary right-back Fernandinho on the halfway line before charging through on goal and decisively slamming home the visitor’s second goal of the night. It was a memorable moment in a captivating seven-goal thriller and came at a pivotal stage in the tie.

Just moments earlier, the home side had restored their two-goal advantage on the night when Fernandinho – who is out of contract at the end of the campaign – provided a perfectly weighted delivery from the right channel for Phil Foden to head home City’s third goal of the night.

Without Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo available, there was much talk about who Guardiola would play at right-back. John Stones started the game in that position but a first half injury forced him off, to be replaced by Fernandinho. It ensured that the player, naturally a holding midfielder, would have to keep hold of his compatriot Vinicius – one of the most electric attacking players in the world.

Fernandinho’s lack of pace was exposed by the acceleration of Vinicius to bring the score back to 3-2 just minutes after the substitution had shown an unexpected moment of attacking brilliance. Walker’s recovery pace is so key for City as it allows them to play a high defensive line, which is a vulnerability to the stand-in Brazilian.

While City were short in the position, it was a risk for Guardiola to play Fernandinho in the position. Earlier this month, Fernandinho announced he was leaving the Etihad – which the City boss claimed he was unaware of. “I didn’t know it,” the manager said. “You gave me the news. We will see what will happen at the end of the season. I said many times we will see what happens.”

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Guardiola's reaction suggested he knew City were in huge trouble from the moment


Guardiola’s reaction suggested he knew City were in huge trouble from the moment

When asked again, Guardiola said: “I said at the end of the season we will talk – maybe it is a family decision, maybe he wants more minutes. I would love to be with him.” Guardiola went on to suggest that Txiki Begiristain, City’s sporting director, may have known but insisted that Fernandinho revealing his future this way was nothing underhand.

“Maybe Txiki knows it and didn’t tell me,” Guardiola said. “I don’t know. It is a surprise for me; I will say to him [Txiki]: ‘What happened?’ But I know his [Fernandinho’s] intentions. Another player would do it for his benefit. Knowing Ferna, it will not be this.”

Guardiola added: “I understand the players want to play, it is completely understandable. Not just because he is 35 or 36. Look what happened with Ferran Torres: he wanted to play so joined Barcelona. I understand Ferna wants to go back to Brazil, with his father and mother there, and I am pretty sure the club is going to help him do what he wants.”

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