Last night was an epic night in the Champions League as Kyle Walker was forced to take on the goalkeeping role in the closing stages of Manchester City’s clash with Serie A side, Atalanta.
Cristiano Ronaldo being subbed off for Paulo Dybala in Juventus game against Lokomotiv Moscow seemed like the proper headliner for the night till Walker stole the show.
It was a nervy final 10 minutes for the Citizens, yet, it was impossible not to catch City players giggling at the fact that it was Walker who was between the sticks.
Pep Guardiola had opted to sub off Ederson for Claudio Bravo earlier in the match, most probably with the intention of resting the Brazilian for their Premier League’s clash with league leaders, Liverpool.
Bravo was sent off for hauling down Josip Ilicic as he ran through on goal, trying to retrieve a back pass that had put him ìn danger.
Interestingly, Walker coming off the bench grabbed Bravo’s shirt and gloves, going to replace the former Barcelona goalkeeper in goal whilst still putting on his defender shorts.
The Englishman didn’t have the look of a fiery goalkeeper like Buffon but it still felt like the safe hands of Ederson as he managed to pull off a save from a freekick played by the opposing side.
Bravo was a disappointment in goal, conceding a goal and earning his marching orders.
Ederson had started the game but didn’t re-emerge from the dressing room after the interval. Soon after Bravo was brought onto the fray, the Chilean conceded, thanks to a powerful header from Mario Pasalic.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for a UCL night, the former Barca goalkeeper was sent off later in the game.
That said, it took quite an age for the Chilean to march out the turf as VAR reviewed the incident.
Walker is now the first Englishman to play in goal in the Champions League since Ben Hamer did for Leicester in 2016.