Look on the rating in your telephone and see one other 90 minutes for Jack Grealish in a Manchester Metropolis shirt with neither a aim nor an help to his identify. Whereas Erling Haaland continues to hog all of the headlines – he scored twice in solely 45 minutes right here – the £100m man from two summers in the past appears to have drifted to the periphery on the Etihad.
That does not fairly inform the entire story although.
Grealish was named Man of the Match in Metropolis’s 5-0 thrashing of FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night time, a simply reward for his efforts on the night time and proof, for those who wanted it, that for this group it does not actually matter who will get the Fantasy factors so long as the wheels carry on turning.
Afterwards, his supervisor Pep Guardiola described the winger’s efficiency as ‘unbelievable’ however did state the subsequent step for the participant was to start out scoring objectives. Thus far, he is on only one for the season Grealish himself admits that he was determined to get on the scoresheet however goes by ‘a type of patches the place nothing is falling’.
He is maybe proper to really feel as if the footballing gods are in opposition to him and will have had an help on the board as early because the eleventh minute after sending Bernardo Silva scampering by on aim. Alas, the Portuguese midfielder may solely hearth into the put up from a decent angle.
His link-up play with Silva down Metropolis’s left-hand aspect precipitated Copenhagen issues all through and it was the pair switching roles, with Bernardo drifting out and Grealish tucking in, that led to the England winger curling a shot in direction of the highest nook. Goalkeeper Kamil Grabara was equal to it.
5 minutes later and it was rinse and repeat, with Grealish sharply reducing inside from the sting of the field. As soon as once more the previous Liverpool and Huddersfield City shot-stopper managed to tip it over the bar at full stretch.
At which level we should point out Sergio Gomez, Metropolis’s new left-back, who has blended seamlessly into Guardiola’s group (which is rarely as straightforward because it sounds) and already seems to have a nuanced understanding of the areas to take up as Grealish and Silva flicker round him.
For no matter purpose, it had by no means appeared to fairly click on correctly between Grealish and Joao Cancelo and Manchester Metropolis look much better with the correct again over on his extra pure aspect. Like Cancelo, Gomez is equally snug getting down the road to cross as he’s holding that inverted full-back place Guardiola employs thus creating extra space wherein Grealish can function.
They mixed for the third aim, a barely fortuitous double deflection that took one other potential help away from the England worldwide, who did make some extent of checking if it did go down as an own-goal in his post-match interview. The fifth aim, nevertheless, was all his personal making after Grealish barrelled straight down the center of the pitch, shrugged off a defender and performed Riyad Mahrez in to sq. for Julian Alvarez.
Grealish, after all, was proper behind the Argentine ready to place the ball within the web himself.
The objectives will come. So too the assists. What’s vital is that Metropolis’s file signing seems to have rediscovered the sort of verve that made him such an impossibly alluring asset within the first place. He might by no means develop into the identical swashbuckling one-man present he was at Aston Villa – Metropolis merely do not want him to – however his efficiency on Wednesday night time proved he can flourish even inside the rigidity of Guardiola‘s system.