Bernardo Silva’s penalty vs Real Madrid wasn’t a bad shot — it was genius goalkeeping

The Bernardo Silva penalty vs Real Madrid during Manchester City’s shootout defeat in Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal was one of the most discussed points of the game.

After a brilliant game that ended 1-1 (4-4 on aggregate) it went to a penalty shootout. Silva stepped up to take City’s second penalty and stunned fans when he shot it right up the middle into the grateful hands of Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.

Silva received hefty criticism online for his penalty. 

What if we told you, it wasn’t a bad kick but instead a genius bit of goalkeeping?

Bernardo Silva penalty vs Real Madrid

Why would he even try that kick? History says it was a good idea.

A tactic used in penalty shootouts is taking advantage of when the opposing team fails to convert a kick. 

Prior to Silva’s effort, Luka Modric has just seen his penalty saved giving Manchester City a 1-0 lead. This puts all the pressure on Madrid goalkeeper Lunin to make a save to get his side back in the game.

With that a kind of pressure goalkeepers are compelled to dive to try and make a save. If a goalkeeper’s team is trailing after their team just failed to convert a kick, they would like foolish to stand still on the next kick and still get scored on.

Penalty takers have started to use this psychology against goalkeepers and shoot it up the middle after the opposing team failed to score. One of the most famous instances of this was Paulo Dybala in the 2022 World Cup final.

In the Qatar final Kingsley Coman had just seen his penalty saved. Dybala shot next for Argentina and took advantage of Hugo Lloris and France’s need for a save by slotting it down the middle.

Silva thought he was making a clever move against Real Madrid. Little did he know that Lunin had the guts to stand still and not dive.

The Silva penalty miss vs Real Madrid is less the fault of the City player and more a stroke of genius and bravery from Lunin.

Incredible stuff.

Real Madrid went on to win the penalty shootout 4-3 and advance to face Bayern in the semifinal.

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