With City already light in defence following an injury to Kyle Walker, John Stones was named at right-back, but an early injury to the England international saw Fernandinho come off the bench to take on the role. And minutes after providing an assist to Phil Foden, he was subject to an outrageous piece of skill by Vinicius.
A clever dummy from Vinicius saw the ball fly through Fernandinho’s legs, and the Madrid winger spun away from the City captain before charging towards goal. And to make matters worse, he finished brilliantly to cap off a wonder move.
Vinicius was a constant threat against City, as Chelsea found out in their Champions League quarter-final. And the Brazilian was having a field day against not one, but two stars who are unfamiliar in that position.
It may have been a stunning City performance, but Vinicius exposed their major weakness, and it one of the reasons why Madrid ae still in the tie. Despite being on the back foot all game, and falling two goals behind in 12 minutes, Madrid managed to keep the deficit at just the one goal, after a 4-3 defeat.
And Pep Guardiola will be stressing ahead of the second leg, with Walker still unlikely to return. Especially with the daunting prospect of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, City will not want to be exposed again.
Although they won 4-3, City will be frustrated as they had chances to kill off the tie, which was echoed in Foden’s post-match press conference. Foden said: “For the fans watching it was obviously a great game of football.
“We are playing a side that have won the Champions League many times and if we give the ball away they are going to punish us. It is something we need to work on in the second leg. The tie is still on.
“It was a great game. End to end. We started really well and could have killed them off. In these games, we need to take more chances.” And Foden’s team-mate Bernardo Silva felt a similar way, as he added: “I honestly think for the first 20 minutes we were so, so good.
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“The way we pressed, the way we controlled the game and created chances. Over the 90 minutes it felt like we could have won by a better score. Unfortunately we were not able to take advantage of our two-goal differences that we had three times.
“It is the Champions League, we play one of the best teams in the world. It is still a good result. On to the next game. It was a good game. Our fans should be proud of us and the work we did.
“We could have scored more but this football. They took their chances. The penalty came out of nowhere. We were controlling the game. We were a bit unlucky.”