Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Riyad Mahrez should come into the team for the second leg - Kenny Cunningham

Former Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham joined The Football Show to discuss Riyad Ma...

Former Republic of Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham joined The Football Show to discuss Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Real Madrid and Manchester City drew 1-1 in the Santiago Bernabeu during the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie.

City played very well through the first half and went behind to a great goal from Vinicius. Madrid showed that they could play through Pep Guardiola's team and that they had the quality upfront to hurt them. Real Madrid grew into the ascendency during the second half, but also conceded an equalizer to Kevin De Bruyne.

Madrid won't go to Manchester with any fear. Their experience wouldn't allow it. But they also have the speed and quality in their attack to know they can score on counter-attacks. Manchester City must figure out how they are going to score their own winner(s).

And Kenny Cunningham says Riyad Mahrez is the solution. Mahrez didn't start against Madrid in the first leg. Bernardo Silva took his place on the right wing and he dropped to the bench. It was a more defensive-minded line-up in the away leg.

"Mahrez or Phil Foden [at right wing]," Cunningham suggested.

"I think Mahrez for me as an attacking threat is better placed playing right of a three. All season I've felt at their strongest for me it's Haaland, Grealish and Mahrez if you look at it purely from an attacking point of view. You might say football is not all about attacking, what about the defensive side of the game?

"I think he's actually improved, Mahrez. There was a time I felt you had to carry him out of possession. I don't think that's the case now. Is he the greatest defender now? No, he's not. But he'll still shift and he'll track a runner."

Cunningham also believes that Manchester City would be more effective in possession with Nathan Ake starting ahead of Manuel Akanji. Manchester City face Everton on Sunday before their rematch with Madrid. Pep Guardiola is two games away from winning that ever-elusive Champions League with the English Champions.

But they can't lose sight on the Premier League title race either.

Jack Grealish is proving his worth, according to Kevin Kilbane


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