10 October 2023
Pep Guardiola’s affection for Portuguese international Bernardo Silva is well established at Manchester City, and the Seleção man’s ability to perform in a variety of roles for the European champions was on display again in the Premier League this weekend.
Arsenal beat City 1-0 in London on Sunday afternoon, with a late goal capping a performance by the standards set by Guardiola’s side. For Bernardo, this fixture is becoming synonymous with being deployed in stunning positions on the Emirates pitch.
The Portuguese was memorably selected at left-back when City won 3-1 in the February meeting, but there was another surprise when Guardiola fielded his line-up on Sunday. While many had expected the former Benfica man to take on more creative responsibilities, Bernardo covered for the suspended Rodri in a deep midfield slot, where he completed essentially 96% of his passes.
“I was in the No. 6 position because that’s what the manager told me to do,” Bernardo told Sky Sports. “I am comfortable there, it is not my natural position but I am especially comfortable with the ball.
“Without the ball, I was trying to stay between the centre-backs and jump into their holding midfielder. I’m used to it, I don’t think it was a big deal. Last season I was less comfortable at left-back than at number 6. It’s not my situation but I’m comfortable there. It was a tough game for us, especially for the result because I don’t think we played that bad.
The defeat was City’s second consecutive defeat in the Premier League and third in four matches in all competitions. Despite a slight dip in form, Bernardo is not worried about the team’s prospects during the remainder of the campaign as they look to defend their League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.
“There were certainly some outcomes we were not expecting and did not want to happen,” he said. “Last season we won the treble and there came a time when nothing went our way. You have these moments and how you overcome them, that defines the team and what you can achieve. We will continue to fight in all games, knowing that we have a tough opponent in front of us.”