Jack Grealish: Manchester City’s £100m substitute misses his shots at redemption

Grealish’s debut year at the Etihad drew closer to an unhappy end after his Real Madrid nightmare, writes Richard Jolly

Saturday 07 May 2022 20:41
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<p>Jack Grealish mised two gilt-edged opportunities in Man City’s Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat to Real Madrid </p>

Jack Grealish mised two gilt-edged opportunities in Man City’s Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat to Real Madrid

Perhaps it is Ferland Mendy’s fault. Or maybe Thibaut Courtois is to blame. But for two remarkable interventions, Jack Grealish would surely now be the man who sealed Manchester City’s place in the Champions League final. His season would end in Paris. It could be deemed a qualified success.

Which feels unlikely now. An exceptional goal-line clearance by the left back and a brilliant save from the goalkeeper prevented Grealish from doubling City’s lead in the Bernabeu, from forging a 6-3 aggregate advantage that even Real Madrid, those masters of the improbable comeback, would have struggled to cancel out in injury time.

Over 210 minutes, there are a multitude of reasons why City went out. There are others who were guilty of glaring misses, particularly Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez at the Etihad Stadium. Yet Grealish’s striking shortcomings felt symbolic. His price tag is unavoidable and it confers pressure. He could have put the tie to bed. And, unlike Foden and Mahrez, who both scored in the tie, he has not delivered the seismic moments in major games to offset the occasional mishap.

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