Riyad Mahrez was all too confident when he shook himself off and grabbed the ball following a clumsy challenge from Emre Can. A penalty presented itself as an opportunity for Manchester City to do the double over Borussia Dortmund to comfortably win the group.
City fans likely threw their hands in front of their eyes or hid behind a cushion when they saw the Algerian winger put the ball down on the spot, instead of the options such as Julian Alvarez, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri or even Bernardo Silva.
As was the case in Copenhagen, the penalty kick was saved, you could say “comfortably”, and the game ended in a goalless draw.
In all competitions, City has missed 25 of their 80 penalties since Guardiola took over, more than any other Premier League side. Before this season, Pep Guardiola’s record in Europe was 14 taken, 11 scored. A good record, but now that record stands at 12 from 17 – slightly diminished.
The former Leicester City man has missed four penalties in his tenure at the Etihad with Sergio Aguero (8) and Gabriel Jesus (5) only recording more misses.
Mahrez was one of City’s top goal scorers last season and his performances were keeping the likes of Jack Grealish and Phil Foden on the sidelines more than often, however that has not been the case since the start of the season.
A role reversal of his form and likely reason for gasps and groans from the City faithful in Dortmund, and across the world.
Now, the penalty miss did not ultimately cost City anything barring the extra two points, with the two away draws enough for them to go through as group winners.
Should it happen on a more important night, say the quarter-final and semi-final of the Champions League, to win the game, who would you want to be stepping up to take the spot kick?
Who should be taking the penalties
The obvious choice is Erling Haaland. Always been an advocate of having your main striker behind the penalties and someone who exudes confidence, the Norwegian is your man.
On the evidence from the Brighton game, his penalties are unsavable if he can show that level of power and accuracy in his attempts on a consistent basis.
Julian Alvarez is someone who has shown heart and determination although we have not seen his penalty ability just yet, although as a striker, his finishing is likely to be up to standard.
Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan are both players who have City in their hearts and captain status should rank them higher than Mahrez from taking the ball again.
The likes of Cancelo, Foden and Rodri also have the technical ability, calmness and power to improve that percentage going forward.
Whether we see one at Leicester away or in the Champions League final, let’s hope our best men are putting their hands up to take it.