Yes, we know we probably shouldn’t be crying over spilled milk but Nabil Fekir was almost ours. The player deemed the heir to the departed Philippe Coutinho came as close to becoming a Liverpool player as you can get without actually melting into a coveted Jurgen Klopp hug. Details have quietly leaked in recent weeks about the infamous medical that led to the Reds nixing the £53m deal in the 11th hour, revealing the club to arguably have been justified in walking away.
We get it, we can’t have him. Fine. That being said: DID YOU SEE HIM SINGLEHANDEDLY EVISCERATE MAN CITY IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE?
It’s true, Fekir’s Lyon went to the Etihad and stunned the Citizens 2-1 to send the defending Premier League champions to the bottom of Group F. With the bookmakers having deemed City to be the favorites to win the Champions League (this despite Liverpool, last year’s finalist, only having gotten stronger, but whatever) the unexpected result was handily the biggest upset of Matchday 1.
The Ligue 1 side came out punching early and hard, with Fekir in particular leading the charge. First, the club captain put in a dangerous first time cross on a counter attack that evaded both goalkeeper Ederson and left back Fabian Delph for Lyon’s Maxwel Cornet to smash into the net in the 26th minute. Shocked into a sense of urgency by the early deficit, the home side rebounded gamely, stringing together a number of attacking moves that came one last-ditch clearance or errant final ball away from netting an equalizer.
Sensing the danger, Fekir decided that just before the halftime whistle was as good a time as any to secure the result. Physically overpowering City’s Fernandinho in his own half to dispossess him, Lyon's talisman proceeded to take on three defenders and fire an unstoppable laser into the bottom corner from 20 yards. There have been reports that Reds fans began salivating profusely at about this point in the match.
Even for those who don’t follow Ligue 1, it was easy to see how Fekir’s combination of pace, power, technique and classy end product had Liverpool all too willing to shell out the cash prior to the unfortunate medical. Then again, January isn’t all too far away…
Watch the touches video below: