Bellingham and Nunes – City’s defeat to Real Madrid goes back to last summer

Despite being the better team over the two legs, City weren’t able to score a second goal at the Etihad and came unstuck in the penalty shootout. There’s no shortage of tactical analysis for these big games, and everyone agress it comes down to fine margins.

What tipped those fine margins in Madrid’s favour? Well, events off the pitch affect those on it, and away from the xG and heat maps we can go back to the topic of last summer’s transfer window.

Put simply, Jude Bellingham was City’s top target, yet chose Madrid while City somehow ended up with Matheus Nunes who failed to make it off the bench in both legs. Bellingham was kept fairly quiet by City, but imagine if the situation was reversed with Bellingham playing for City while Madrid had Nunes. It’s easy to imagine a different outcome.

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