Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has admitted he doesn’t practice taking free kicks – despite scoring from a set piece in Wednesday night’s 3-1 win over Porto.
The German midfielder curled a magnificent free kick over the wall and beyond the reach of Porto keeper Marchesin to give City the lead and set the blues on the road to victory in their opening Champions League group match.
But after the match, Gundo admitted he rarely practices taking set-pieces in training. “I have to admit, I don’t practice free-kicks a lot, but there are certain distances that I feel comfortable from and for me, this was the perfect range. I had a little discussion with Raheem and he was happy for me to take it and obviously I am very happy that I had the opportunity to score.”
The midfielder was substituted moments later and Gundogan was happy that manager Pep Guardiola had waited until after the free kick. “I’m glad he didn’t [substitute]. I was actually quite sure he was going to take me off, but he maybe saw an opportunity for me and waited.”
Ferran Torres scored a third for City as the blues got their campaign off to a winning start, and Gundogan says it was a tough opening fixture. “We struggled in different periods of the game and we went behind which made things more difficult. We played quite well in some moments but there were some areas we need to improve.
“The most important thing is we started well, and we have the three points in this competition.”
The match also came with a cost as midfielder Fernandinho went off with a leg injury to add to City’s mounting injury problems.