Bernardo Silva: I went through many emotions from penalty miss to Wembley winner

By Sports Desk April 21, 2024

Bernardo Silva admitted he had been through a range of emotions after bouncing back from his European penalty heartache with an FA Cup semi-final winner.

The Portugal midfielder scored Manchester City’s late clincher as the holders ground out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday to book a return to the final.

It came less than three days after he had badly fluffed his lines with a poor spot-kick as City were agonisingly knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in a draining encounter on Wednesday.

Silva released a lot of emotion in a vigorous celebration after his 84th-minute strike and he revealed that was culmination of a lot of factors.

He said: “After a very frustrating week for all of us it’s good to get back on the winning side and qualify for another final and another chance to win a trophy. We’re happy.

“Wednesday was a frustrating night for me. It was tough. First night, I didn’t sleep much. Second night, you sleep a bit better, the third night you sleep almost the whole night.

“It is what it is. It’s football, it’s our profession and we have to deal with those emotions.

“The way this team reacts is always really good. Once again we showed character and that no matter what happens, we stick together and go for it.”

Silva – one of two City players to miss in the shootout loss along with Mateo Kovacic – was embarrassed as he chipped tamely into the hands of Real goalkeeper Andriy Lunin from the spot.

He said that he had seen Lunin move early for the previous penalty, taken by Julian Alvarez, and felt striking down the middle would be a good idea.

Silva said: “I was waiting, I wanted to be the second or the third penalty to see the reaction from the keeper in the first or the first two penalties.

“And he moved early, that’s why I thought the middle was good because in moments of pressure the keepers, 99 per cent of the time, they move. But he chose not to move and fair play to him, well done.”

Silva denied a theory that the delay to his penalty, caused by the ball needing to be retrieved from the crowd, had affected him mentally.

He said: “For me, no. My decision was made. I was going shoot the penalty in the middle.”

City showed the resolve of champions to hang in and edge out Chelsea, who dominated the tie at Wembley.

The Londoners were left to rue wasting a host of chances, with misfiring striker Nicolas Jackson the prime culprit. They were also frustrated not to be awarded a penalty after a Cole Palmer free-kick struck the arm of Jack Grealish.

Veteran defender Thiago Silva said: “I think it’s laughable. I don’t like to talk about the referees, especially after a defeat as it looks like an excuse, but I believe VAR could have sent the ref to the monitor.

“If he goes to the monitor and decides not to give a pen, I’m fine with it, but go and see it.”

Silva, 39, is out of contract at the end of the season and promised to reveal his future plans soon.

The Brazilian said: “You are going to know in the coming days. I don’t want to say anything now after a defeat, I’m sad about the result, but sooner or later the news will come out.

“I do have a decision made in my mind, but it’s not the moment to share it.”

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