Bernardo Silva eyes different ending as Man City reach Champions League final

By Sports Desk May 18, 2023

Bernardo Silva is determined to right a wrong after firing Manchester City back to the Champions League final.

The Portugal playmaker struck twice as City overpowered Real Madrid 4-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday to set up a clash with Inter Milan in next month’s Istanbul showpiece.

It marks a return to the final for City two years on from their disappointing loss to Chelsea on European club football’s top night and Silva wants to ensure the result is different this time.

The 28-year-old said: “The final of the Champions League is always an unbelievable occasion.

“I’ve only played it once and the outcome was wasn’t very happy for me. Let’s try and change that.

“We know that we play against a very tough team. I watched their game on Tuesday and they are very organised collectively.

“We’re going to study them, follow the manager’s plan once again and try to, individually and collectively, put out the best possible performance, like this one, to be as close as possible to winning that game.”

City produced one of the greatest performances in the club’s history to move a step closer to winning the competition for the first time.

Real Madrid, the holders and 14-time winners of the trophy, had no answer to City’s dizzying combination of movement, speed, strength and cutting edge.

City made a blistering start and maintained the intensity throughout. Silva put them into a thoroughly deserved lead after 23 minutes and added a second before the interval.

An Eder Militao own goal and late Julian Alvarez strike made the scoreline 5-1 on aggregate and truly reflective of their superiority. Victory could have been even more emphatic with Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making three fine saves to deny Erling Haaland.

City’s display ensured sweet revenge for their loss to the same opponents in the semi-finals last year.

“I’m very happy because the performance was amazing,” Silva said. “From minute one, the pressure that we put on Real Madrid’s defence – we pushed them back and we created lots of chances.

“And with our people – the energy – we felt the momentum that we created. It helped a lot.

“The second half started in a weird way where they put us under a bit of pressure but I think the team was very resilient, very organised, and the difference from this year to last year was the chances – we created most of them. We took them and we scored the goals.”

The Champions League final could be the crowning moment of a glorious treble for Pep Guardiola’s City this season.

They will claim the first of the three trophies they are chasing if they beat Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

Silva said: “Yes, with our people again. Hopefully we can give them another happy day and give them the special moment of winning five (Premier Leagues) in six years, which is not easy in this country.

“We’re going to rest, sleep well, eat well and prepare well to be at our best and give that happiness to them because they deserve it.”

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    "Obviously, he makes a step forward as a football player. In terms of minutes or time, but he's decisive in winning games," Guardiola said.

    "Maybe before it was a glimpse of action, but now it's consistent. That is the truth, but they still have a margin. Sometimes his game is overexcited, it's over, and you have to be more calm because his excitement he has for himself, but we'll have question of time, but this season has been really, really important. Really, really important."

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