Stuart Pearce dubs Kyle Walker tackle 'equivalent to a GOAL'
Ex-Man City boss Stuart Pearce dubs heroic Kyle Walker tackle on Vinicius Jnr ‘equivalent to a GOAL’ as he praises the England star’s role in clinching Champions League final place
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Former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce sung the praises of Kyle Walker after an impressing defensive showing during Pep Guardiola’s side’s 4-0 rout of 14-time European Cup winners Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.
Walker was tasked with keeping Vinicius Jnr under wraps, and their scintillating battle from the first-leg spilled in to the second-leg clash at the Etihad.
The Brazil international cut a muted figure under Walker’s thumb, unable to impact the game as Bernando Silva bagged a brace and Julian Alvarez came off the bench to score the winner on a triumphant night in Manchester.
An error from Vinicius’ team-mate Eder Militao gifted City their third and applied the after-burners to City’s historic title chase.
City’s command performance at home showcased a number of excellent displays from the playing squad, but Pearce singled out Walker for special plaudits after watching the England star pull off a particularly feisty tackle on the Real Madrid starlet.
Kyle Walker kept Vinicius Jnr at bay through City’s second-leg rout of Real Madrid at the Etihad
The 32-year-old was able to outpace a threatening Vinicius, swiping the ball and preparing for a City counter-attack with his remains
Vinicius was bearing down on Ederson’s goal when the defender applied his unmatchable pace to not only catch up with his opponent, but swipe the ball and spark City’s next counter-attack.
Stuart Pearce was full of praise for Walker
Speaking live on talkSPORT, Pearce began: ‘I am not daft enough to realise that Madird, given the opportunity to counter-attack, might get something out of the game.
‘But at this moment, City are at another level. You flip it on its head when they have had to defend.
‘The defensive work from Kyle Walker to deal with Vinicius Jr was quite incredible. It was wonderful defending. They have been almost perfect,’ he added.
‘The only criticism you could offer them is the fact that Kroos hit the bar.
‘Apart from that, at this standard of football, they have been magnificent.
‘I have played at the back all my life, that is equivalent to a goal.’
The hotly-anticipated match-up between the pairing did not disappoint in the semi-final
Walker is the quickest player in the Premier League after recording sprinting at 23.3mph in training, and his lightning speed was yet another weapon that Guardiola’s side were capable of unleashing on their LaLiga opponents.
But across the board, City’s demolition of Real Madrid was so convincing to a man that fans took to Twitter to declare the final a foregone conclusion.
‘The UCL trophy is ours to lose,’ one fan posted, as many ruled out fellow finalists Inter from being able to compete against the Premier League leaders.
Guardiola’s side will meet the Nerazzurri in Istanbul on June 10.
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