We all have those moments, Bernardo...

Has Bernardo Silva taken the worst free-kick in the history of football?

“He is so intelligent – everyone loves him, and it was another exceptional performance,” Pep Guardiola said of Bernardo Silva after the Portuguese playmaker produced another sumptuous individual display in Manchester City’s 3-0 victory away to Manchester United back in October.

“He’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve trained a lot and he’s one of the best.”

This was not your standard Pep hyperbole. Not one of those ‘wow, guys, wow’s about Bournemouth’s style after strolling to another 5-0 win. Not like the time he called Matheus Nunes one of the best players in the world, only to retract that claim after actually signing him.

This was legit. Completely genuine. And true. Bernardo Silva has undoubtedly been one of the outstanding City players of this era, arguably the most dominant of any side in English football history.

He is a wizard. That rare kind of player that makes his top-level opponents look like amateurs.

Which is ultimately why it was so funny to see him responsible for one of the most bungling moments you’ll see all season, a hilariously hapless free-kick attempt that might well rank as the worst ever taken.

Something you’d rarely see in Sunday League, in the face of all those pints from the night before still sloshing about.

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva with a bad free kick 60′
byu/dragon8811 insoccer

Want a proper High Performance tip? Forget Jake Humphrey and his 5am cornflakes. Just bookmark this video.

Next time you’re having a terrible day at work, load it up as a reminder that it really does happen to the very best of us – and whatever cock-up you made, at least you didn’t do that in front of 50,000 paying spectators.

The context makes it all the better. This was no routine home win for City. When the free-kick was taken on the hour mark, the score remained goalless.

Guardiola’s men had registered 70% possession, basically camped in Brentford’s half, and at that point had registered 19 attempts, six on target, but no goals.

It was at this moment that the tension was really starting to amp up inside the Etihad. When you’ve got a player of Silva’s quality shanking it out for a throw-in, kicking it as far away from a fellow City body as he feasibly could have done, then you’d really start to believe it’s not going to be your day.

Silva himself had spoken in the build-up about how important it was to bounce back from Saturday’s draw with Chelsea.

“[We need] a reaction, three points and back on track to try and get as many points as possible,” he told City’s official website.

“We keep going and keep fighting but it’s a setback.”

City, of course, did get the win in the end. Erling Haaland eventually broke Brentford’s steely resolve and Guardiola’s men inevitably did what they do and kept up the pace in this relentless title race with Arsenal and Liverpool.

These next few months are going to be intense viewing for fans of all three clubs. We can only thank Bernardo Silva for breaking the tension, albeit briefly, with a wonderful moment of levity.

By Nestor Waatch

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