Rio Ferdinand names Man City’s ‘vulnerable’ player after an exciting Real Madrid clash

Manchester City beat Real Madrid in an exciting Champions League showdown

Manchester City beat Real Madrid in an exciting Champions League showdown (AFP via Getty)

Rio Ferdinand believes Fernandinho was Manchester City’s “vulnerability” in their thrilling 4-3 win over Real Madrid in the first match of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday night.

City were in control for most of the match and goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva ensured that Pep Guardiola’s team took advantage of Madrid for their second match next week.

But Madrid is still a draw thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema, as well as a superb individual effort from Vinicius Jr.

The Brazilian winger had a subdued first half, but grew into the match after Fernandinho replaced John Stones shortly before half-time.

Both Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker were unavailable for the match, and Ferdinand believes Fernandinho represented City’s biggest weakness in the first match.

“It was a great match, the game ebbed out and flowed in different ways,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘Momentum changed many times over the course of the game, moments of absolute class from individuals.

Vinicius Junior gave Fernandinho a run-around in the second half

Vinicius Junior gave Fernandinho the round in the second half (Getty)

‘City will be a bit frustrated, you can see that. I think Pep wants a lot to say in that locker room.

I think Real Madrid will be lifted by the way they showed the character and the courage to come back.

‘But I still want City to take over [to Madrid] and finish the work.

‘I think a big, big change in the way the game went was when the Stones came out. I think the Stones’ injury destabilized the City team.

Karim Benzema scored twice against Manchester City to give Real Madrid a lifeline

Karim Benzema scored twice against Manchester City to give Real Madrid a lifeline (Reuters)

‘Unfortunately, at 36 years old, Fernandinho had to play right-back against one of the strongest wingers in the match at the moment, it was a vulnerability at the time on the Man City team.’

Meanwhile, Steve McManaman criticized City for their mistake in winning by a larger margin.

“One never accuses City of being naive, but they were at times,” said the former Liverpool midfielder.

‘They should not have let Madrid come back in the match. I do not know what it was if they were just too confident because they were so far ahead, so superior, as soon as they got two goals ahead, they started to fall deep, even the third goal, the Panenka penalty, they [Madrid] just had a chance before that, you think to yourself, ‘how did that happen?’.

‘City should just control the game. I still think City will score goals and probably win the match over there as they played, but they have given Madrid a glimmer of hope.

“And once they go back there with the fans, it’s going to be a different scenario than tonight.”

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