Manchester City midfielder David Silva might have ended up on the losing side in Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Barcelona at the Etihad, but the Spaniard put in a performance which deserved major plaudits.
Going into half-time of the first-leg of their last-16 tie two goals down after a Luis Suarez double, Silva’s creative presence in the final third helped Manuel Pellegrini’s side fight back following the break, with the former Valencia man providing an exquisite flick to set up Sergio Aguero’s 69th-minute strike.
Taken off for Bacary Sagna with 13 minutes left to provide more cover at the back following Gael Clichy’s red card, it was a showing which, against weaker opposition, would have helped guide the home side to a win, with his influence on the night evident when comparing his stats to the other star attackers on the pitch.
|Position||Team||Goals||Assists||Total Key Passes||Total Passes||Passing Accuracy||Total Crosses||Accurate Crosses||Touches||Mins Played|
|David Silva||MF||Man City||0||1||4||40||93%||6||3||61||78|
|James Milner||MF||Man City||0||0||2||50||84%||3||1||63||90|
|Sergio Agüero||FW||Man City||1||0||1||21||67%||0||0||44||90|
|Edin Dzeko||FW||Man City||0||0||1||26||62%||3||0||45||68|
Silva might not have seen as much of the ball as his Barca rivals, but he made the most of it when he did, recording a match-leading four key passes and six crosses, as well as a highly-commendable 93 per cent pass completion rate.
The Premier League champions did need goalkeeper Joe Hart to save a last-minute Lionel Messi spot-kick to keep them in the tie but, as long as the likes of Silva and Sergio Aguero are at the top of their game, one wouldn't want to rule out the chance of an upset in the return leg at the Nou Camp.