Man City 2-0 PSG: Kyle Walker's unseen reaction to Oleksandr Zinchenko's block

Kyle Walker defends Neymar during Man City's win vs PSG

Kyle Walker was in exceptional form for Manchester City during their 4-1 aggregate triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League semi-finals. 

The England international managed to nullify the threat of Kylian Mbappe in Paris last week and followed up that display in Manchester last night.

Man City‘s back-four were in exceptional form and Neymar, so often the chief outlet for the Ligue 1 giants, was restricted to scraps whenever he forayed over to Walker’s side of the pitch. 

Walker has had his doubters over the years but his performances on the grand stage underlined his status as one of the best right-backs on the planet. 

However, it doesn’t matter how well the 30-year-old is playing or how long he’s maintained his form for, it’s impossible to escape the feeling that he is 95% world-class and 5% a disaster waiting to happen. 

The second leg at the Etihad Stadium was a perfect demonstration of that feeling in motion. 

WHAT A TEAM! This Man City fan on The Football Terrace can’t believe what he’s seeing from Pep’s side…

With City holding onto a slender 1-0 lead at the beginning of the second half, Walker attempted to backheel the ball back to John Stones close to the halfway line.

Angel Di Maria was alert and intercepted as Stones attempted to clear and, as the ball spun loose, Neymar took control of the situation and made headway towards the City goal.

It was one of the only times during the game in which the Brazilian was afforded room to dribble into, and he pierced through the City defence with ominous ease. 

Having reached the penalty area, Neymar sat Ruben Dias on the ground and engineered half a yard to shoot, but he was denied by some heroic defending from Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Zinchenko was congratulated as if he’d scored at the other end by defensive teammates Stones and Dias, and that image of the trio huddled together was one of the most outstanding on the night. 

In the aftermath of proceedings, though, BT Sport published a video featuring the best moments of the game from pitch side perspective, providing a more immersive experience to what the viewers witnessed on TV.

A series of alternative angles came to light, including one of Walker following Zinchenko’s block.

Walker, who was visibly relieved that his moment of foolishness hadn’t costed his side, lifted his head to the sky before kicking the post in anger (0:38 onwards). 

The thud of his boot against the post pierces the ears. 

He was absolutely furious with himself, and the fact he was that frustrated over a moment of what could have been underlines the elite mentality of the current crop of City players. 

They are perfectionists whom cannot stand conceding chances, never mind goals. 

That’s an attitude Ruben Dias aptly summarised earlier in 2021 while speaking to the Daily Mail.

“The other day someone said to me here in the club, ‘Ah, amazing, another clean sheet'”

“And I just said the thing that gives me most pleasure is not even the clean sheet. It’s the other team not even making one shot on goal. The thing that gives me the most pleasure is that my keeper doesn’t make a save.”

On Tuesday’s evidence, it would appear that Dias’ attitude is mirrored throughout the rest of the squad. 

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