When the dust settles of the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Manchester United, supporters and pundits will be compelled to refer back to one moment: Bernardo Silva’s opener.
It was the type of headline-writing stunner that naturally draws the attention.
As the ball pierced through the night sky, barely deviating in flight such was the sweetness of the strike, spectators were made starkly aware of the disparity between the two clubs.
The startling gulf in class was tangible in that very moment. Bernardo whipped up a moment of pure unadulterated magic that only the very best are capable of and with it set City on their way to an unnervingly – from Man United’s perspective – comfortable victory.
Just moments after the ball had tickled the underside of the bar – as if the strike couldn’t get any sweeter – and rippled the back of the net, Gary Lineker was on hand to offer his verdict.
Stonker of a goal from Bernardo Silva. Delightful footballer.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 7, 2020
A stonker indeed Gary.
Stonker: something that is very good or an extreme example of something.
An apt description under the circumstances.
Coupling a low centre of gravity with the technical charm that left-footed players naturally exude, it would be difficult to argue Bernardo is anything other than a delightful footballer either.