Real Madrid fans’ biggest concern stood as their unsung hero vs Manchester City

Real Madrid’s victory over Manchester City on Wednesday evening saw an altogether unexpected member of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad prove himself an unsung hero for the club.

The player in question? Nacho.

Stopper Nacho was afforded a starting berth at the heart of Real’s backline, for the 2nd leg of their Champions League quarter-final showdown with Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

As much came with David Alaba sidelined long-term, Éder Militão not yet ready for 90 minutes, and Aurélien Tchouaméni suspended.

Upon Los Blancos’ starting XI being unveiled ahead of kick-off, droves of the club’s supporters, in turn, made clear that they considered the 34-year-old a major weak link in their side.

Safe to say, however, that over the course of the 90 minutes, and ensuing half hour of extra time, Nacho silenced any such doubters.

An absolute masterclass alongside partner Antonio Rüdiger at the back saw Real’s captain not put a foot wrong all evening.

And such a display was very much needed.

Man City utterly dominated possession throughout the matchup, probing and prodding for what would have proven a decisive 2nd on the night.

But whether it was on the ground, in the air, or in his one-on-one battle with Erling Haaland, Nacho didn’t give an inch, making use of all of his experience to marshal Ancelotti’s troops to eventual victory.

Not only that, but the Spanish international stepped up to convert a superb penalty in the shootout, to put the icing on the cake of a top-class individual showing.

He may not be a fan favourite in Madrid, but on Wednesday night, no one is more deserving of their flowers than that man Nacho.

Conor Laird | GSFN

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