Bernardo Silva’s Versatility Crucial to Manchester City

Manchester City drew 1-1 with Liverpool at Anfield in an exhilarating match last Sunday to drop to the third place in the league table. Both Arsenal and Liverpool have 64 points from 28 matches now, with the Cityzens having 63 points from the same number of matches.

However, Pep Guardiola’s side should have been happy to come out with a point from Liverpool’s home turf. It was a match that Liverpool dominated to an extent, especially in the second half.

Bernardo Silva once again showed his versatility

Manchester City started the match in their customary 3-2-2-3 formation, but had to make minor adjustments to it in the first half itself. Liverpool’s right-back Conor Bradley made a number of overlapping runs to trouble the Manchester City defence somewhat.

Julián Álvarez started as the left winger in place of Jérémy Doku and did not track back often enough, thus forcing Bernardo to switch to the left midfield to help Nathan Aké deal with Bradley’s runs. The Cityzens’ formation thus became 3-3-1-3 with Kevin de Bruyne as their lone attacking midfielder.

In the second half, too, Guardiola had to take off de Bruyne to introduce Matteo Kovačić to deal with the Reds’ intense press in the midfield. The formation remained 3-3-1-3, with Kovačić joining Rodri and John Stones in the midfield, and Phil Foden playing as the lone attacking midfielder.

The versatile Bernardo once again changed his position, this time shifting to play as the right winger, as Doku replaced Álvarez on the left flank. The 29-year-old Portuguese midfielder is one of the best passers and dribblers in the team, but often compromises his position for the sake of his side.

Bernardo has played in a defensive role as well

It is not often that Manchester City get dominated by their opponents in terms of ball-possession, as the case was against Liverpool. Against the lesser sides, Bernardo has also played as a defensive midfielder alongside Rodri in John Stones’ absence. His passing range allows him to play even in a deeper role.

There are not many attacking players in the world who can play as a holding midfielder in a proper way. Not to mention that Bernardo can play on either flank and is also adept at delivering crosses from the flanks.

Manchester City has a few tough matches ahead

Manchester City will face Brighton and Hove Albion, Aston Villa and Arsenal in their next three matches in the Premier League. Each of them can potentially be a tough opposition and City’s chances of winning their fifth league title in six years will depend a lot on their performance in those three matches.

Bernardo has scored eight goals in 35 matches this season so far and also has four assists. Those numbers might not seem exceptionally good given his obvious quality, but a closer look at the different roles the Portuguese has played in accounts for a lot.

It remains to be seen how Manchester City fare in their remaining league matches as well as the UEFA Champions League. It can be assumed without much doubt that Bernardo will continue to play a key role for them.

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