Bernardo Silva PhotoBernardo Silva Sport

Bernardo Silva injects excitement into a tightly contested 1-1 draw between Manchester City and Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League standings

In a match where space, time, and quality were scarce resources, Bernardo Silva stood out as the dominant force. Despite the supposed toughest test of the season for Manchester City, the experienced Portuguese midfielder made it look effortless, stepping up in the absence of Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne.

Perhaps it was the lackluster performances of those around him that made Silva’s brilliance shine even brighter. Whether it was the intense buildup, the early start post-international break, or the higher standards set by previous clashes between Liverpool and Manchester City, the 1-1 draw seemed somewhat undeserving of the numerous moments of brilliance displayed by Silva. Remove Silva from the equation, and it would be hard to believe that England’s top two teams were competing.

On and off the ball, Silva asserted his influence on the game. A crucial pass on the edge of the City box allowed Silva to initiate a counterattack, turning the Liverpool press into a three-on-three opportunity for his team. The hosts were only a well-executed pass away from securing their second goal.

Despite not fitting the mold of a traditional all-around midfielder, Silva proved that appearances can be deceiving. He demonstrated strength in tackles, creativity in setting up teammates, and an impressive stat line that included five tackles, two chances created, and a personal highlight reel of skillful maneuvers.

While Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai hold promise for Liverpool’s future, neither is currently at the level to dominate a game in the manner Bernardo Silva did in the recent match. Silva’s performance was the result of six years of experience and familiarity with his teammates’ positions. Having faced Liverpool frequently, he seemed to know exactly where to exploit their vulnerabilities.

Silva strategically targeted Liverpool’s weak points, especially exploiting the initial struggles of right back Trent Alexander-Arnold. Early in the game, Jeremy Doku, supported by Silva’s passes, repeatedly bypassed Alexander-Arnold. Despite the defender later improving defensively and earning the Man of the Match award with 10 ball recoveries, Silva’s influence limited him as an attacking force, at least for the first 80 minutes. Adding more defenders to assist would only risk circulating the ball to Silva in a more dangerous position closer to the goal.

The significance of Silva’s control over the Liverpool right side became evident when the opening goal originated from that area. Alisson’s quick goal kick found Nathan Ake, who smoothly maneuvered past two defenders and delivered a through ball to Erling Haaland. With two touches and a precise low drive, Haaland secured his 50th Premier League goal, showcasing a pattern reminiscent of many goals in his 47-game history.

City held the upper hand, yet the fine margins meant Liverpool could have easily been the ones breaking through first, especially with an Alisson clearance aiming for Mohamed Salah. The first half showcased missed opportunities for the visitors. While Darwin Nunez consistently found himself in dangerous positions, a lack of precision hindered his effectiveness in a tight match. Unlike Haaland, who needed only three touches to convert an early opening into a goal, Nunez’s four touches in the 17th minute couldn’t manufacture a shooting position despite being in prime locations in City’s penalty box.

City deviated from Haaland’s early impact, lacking creativity throughout the contest. Their two goals came from errors by Alisson, who escaped further consequences when a push on him was detected during a Ruben Dias goal. Despite opportunities to seal the game, Haaland’s near-post flick was blocked, and Liverpool responded with a Luis Diaz cross finding Alexander-Arnold via Salah. The resulting low drive had Ederson beaten.

In a match where neither side convincingly deserved three points, the impact of players with minimal rest after the international break was evident. The game almost had a late winner in the form of Haaland’s flicked header from a Julian Alvarez corner, but the shared spoils felt fitting. The absence of more players of Silva’s caliber on the field left one wondering how much the occasion could have been elevated with a bit more rest for those who had endured extensive travel during the international break.





Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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