Bernardo Silva enjoyed one of the greatest performances of his career on Wednesday evening, and the Portuguese midfielder admitted he was driven on to help Manchester City beat Real Madrid following his frustrations in the first leg of the Champions League semi final.
City booked their place in Istanbul for the final with a stunning performance and a 4-0 victory over the holders at the Etihad Stadium. Bernardo scored twice to put the hosts 2-0 up at half time, after which City underlined their dominance through Manuel Akanji and substitute Julian Alvarez to gain a convincing scoreline warranted by an imperious display.
The sides had played out a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, with Bernardo playing the full 90 minutes but seemingly unhappy with his performance. After his brace sent City to their second-ever Champions League final, the former Benfica man expressed his delight on what was an historic evening for the club.
“It’s a beautiful night for us,” he said. “We knew it would be tough. But to beat this Madrid team 4-0 at home is wonderful. It’s a wonderful feeling to be in the final again. Hopefully this time we can try and win it.
“With our people we’re always very strong. They were amazing once again today. They helped us get momentum to go after Madrid. We know how tough they are. Even in the second half they pushed us and could have scored.
“We were very resilient, very passionate and organised at the same time, I’m so happy with this performance.
“I think my performance in Madrid was not the one I wanted, and I wanted to compensate that. I didn’t feel very good at all after the first game.
“Today I had to do better for my teammates and the fans, and that’s what I tried to do. I’m very happy to help them. I’m very good with my head! I’m small but very good with my head.”
City are on course to become only the second English team to secure the treble of league, FA Cup and European Cup. Should they clinch the Premier League title this weekend against Chelsea and overcome Manchester United and Internazionale respectively, City would emulate their rivals United’s achievement from 1998-99.
By Sean Gillen