Jack Grealish is finally looking like the fearless player we saw at Aston Villa after conjuring up a stunning Man of the Match performance for Manchester City against FC Copenhagen.
City thrashed the Danish outfit 5-0, with Erling Haaland bagging a brace to move onto 19 goals for the season. But it was Grealish who well and truly shone in the Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Somehow the former Aston Villa captain didn't end up getting on the scoresheet after seeing a number of efforts saved by Kamil Grabara, who was in inspired form.
He was also denied an assist as Sergio Gomez's effort that brought goal number three went down as an own goal for Davit Khocholava.
Yet while the statistics might not show it, Grealish's highlights from the game prove that he is now showing his best form in his second season under Pep Guardiola.
The England international played with that freedom and swagger fans grew to love about his game when he was playing for his boyhood club.
He was constantly demanding the ball and driving forward, drifting in off the left flank to link up with his teammates.
Stats won’t show it but Jack Grealish have truly played like a £100m player recently pic.twitter.com/bMEOZ86bzV— shim (@MCFC_shim) October 5, 2022
Seriously, if you don’t rate Jack Grealish as a footballer then you literally don’t understand the game or you’ve never played the game and just look at stats— adi.das_enthusiast (@DanielTrainers) October 5, 2022
Seen a few comments on it, but looks like Pep is finally letting Grealish off the leash to go and do his thing. Carrying the ball and attracting defenders to him. I reckon he’s about to turn into the Villa version of himself… #grealish #MCFC— VillaVibes (@VibesVilla) October 6, 2022
Jack Grealish vs Copenhagen:— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) October 5, 2022
68 Accurate Passes
91.9% Pass Accuracy
4 Key Passes
4 Ground Duels Won
3 Shots On Target
3 Accurate Long Balls
2 Successful Dribbles
1 Shot Blocked
1 Big Chance Created pic.twitter.com/4Ymcbpk4WN
It was Grealish who was making things happen. He produced deft passes for Bernardo Silva and Julian Alvarez, who both struck the post.
And when Alvarez did get his first Champions League goal, it all stemmed through Grealish's superb run.
He collected the ball in his own half and breezed past two players before feeding Riyad Mahrez, who picked out Alvarez for a tap-in.
City's record signing gave a typically honest post-match interview to BT Sport and in addition to revealing what Copenhagen goalkeeper Grabara said to him about Haaland, Grealish admitted he feels as though he's kicking on.
“My last three or four games I feel back to myself," he said.
"I am playing more with that freedom and confidence. It would help if I got on the scoresheet, I was desperate tonight - but it's all about enjoying it and winning. I've played a lot of games recently so I'm thankful to the manager for that. I'm playing with a smile on my face and feel like I'm settling in now.”
Grealish's display was also hailed as "unbelievable" by Guardiola, who has continually backed him despite the criticism he's received.
City have three wins from three win in the Champions League group stage and turn their attentions to the visit of Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Featured Image Credit: Image: Alamy & Twitter/@rnvidss
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