Ruben Dias delivered a defensive masterclass against Paris Saint-Germain to show why he's widely regarded as the best young defender in world football.
The 23-year-old was exceptional in both his use of the ball and in stopping PSG attacks during Manchester City's 2-1 away win in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
A mesmerising compilation shows Dias shutting down Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and co. with perfectly timed tackles and some superb interceptions. The centre-back also began several City attacks with his fluid passing.
The Portuguese defender's composure on the ball is no surprise for a player in a Pep Guardiola backline. But Dias was also a rock without the the ball, snuffing out PSG attacks.
Ruben Dias is a beast :fire::fire: https://t.co/JWHX4S4cnP- ABD:sparkles: (@dontblamemylove) April 29, 2021
"So, so good," one football fan marvelled on Twitter. "How did he got so high up the pitch and tackling Neymar like that?"
Another City fan replied to the compilation: "I usually don't rate players on a single-season performance, but with him I can safely say, he's up there with the best of defenders."
Actually defending taking on players in the middle of the pitch not waiting in his box to spam out crosses like an overrated VVD.- Riszuan (@riszuan17) April 28, 2021
The great wall of Ruben :pray:- luke peaty (@lukeptmcfc) April 28, 2021
I usually don't rate players on single season performance, but with him I can safely say, he's up there with the best of defenders :blue_heart:- Señor Cityzen :flag_bw: (@RA7821_) April 29, 2021
So so good man,how did he got so high up the pitch and tackling neymar like that- Joul (@CityJoul) April 28, 2021
Dias has barely put a foot wrong since his £51 million move from Benfica to City in September, as he's instantly improved his side's defence. But his performance in Paris might have been his best yet.
Rúben Dias' game by numbers vs. PSG:- Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 28, 2021
95% pass accuracy
69 total touches
5 tackles attempted
3 tackles won
Another dominant display. :flag_pt: pic.twitter.com/3WyJWaqx1R
City had to cope with a scintillating start from the home side as they scored from a Marquinhos header and could have added more if Dias and his teammates hadn't held PSG at bay.
However it was a different game in the second half as Kevin de Bruyne's cross found the back of the net, then Riyad Mahrez made it 2-1, before Idrissa Gueye was shown a late red card for a dreadful challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.
Advantage City going into the second leg in Manchester. And if Dias plays the way he did in Paris in the semi-final second leg, even Neymar and Mbappe have their work cut out trying to get the goals PSG require.
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