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Grealish Hits High Notes On Big Stage

Jack Grealish and the Champions League are a match made in heaven, Guardiola knows there is so much more to come from his £100m man.

That seemed pretty obvious even before he had kicked a ball in the competition. Getting the chance to play on the biggest stage in European club football was one of the main reasons Grealish gave for making the move to City from boyhood club Aston Villa for a British-record fee. His performance in the win over RB Leipzig only backed up the decision.

Grealish, playing off the left in a position he has already made his own for his new club, got the ball rolling by assisting the opening goal for Nathan Ake from a corner before grabbing the limelight on 56 minutes.

Perhaps one of his greatest advantage against playing teams on the continent is that they might underestimate him. Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig’s midfielder – seemed more than happy to allow Grealish to dribble into the area and show him onto his right foot.

Meanwhile, Not a wise decision. Grealish took aim from 18 yards and sent a flashing curling drive into the top corner. That was one of nine progressive runs from City’s marquee man. The home fans have a new favourite.

“When I’m in that position off the left-hand side running into the opposition area, I’d back myself one-on-one against anyone to have a go and this time it paid off,” a grinning Grealish said after the game.

“As soon as the game kicked off, I actually thought to myself, ‘I’ve played in the Champions League now!’. The music and everything was so nice and the game topped it all off. I loved it.”

Not that Pep Guardiola looked too impressed with Grealish’s output. The City boss always seems that extra bit intense on a Champions League night and Grealish got first-hand experience of his manager’s desire to flourish in Europe’s elite competition.

TheEngland international – and Riyad Mahrez – got a stern talking to in the second half when City restored their two-goal lead.

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