Jack Grealish has admitted he is delighted to have finally made his Champions League debut, which was made even sweeter by scoring a brilliant goal.
Despite breaking the British transfer record with his £100million move to City in the summer, Grealish had never played in Europe’s top competition after spending all of his career with Aston Villa.
However, the playmaker proved he belongs on the highest stage with a fine display in the 6-3 victory over RB Leipzig. It was his whipped-in corner that set up Nathan Ake to head home the opener and he then grabbed the fourth City goal of a topsy-turvy game with a great finish.
Grealish picked up a loose ball on the left touchline, drove inside of the box, easily ghosted past a player and then curled a delightful shot into the far corner.
It was a moment the 26-year-old has been waiting a long time for and he was pleased with how it went down.
“I loved it,” Grealish told BT Sport about his debut. “I’ve been waiting a while, the past few days, the past few weeks I just couldn’t wait for this game in particular and it was a great night.
“It was one of those games, it had absolutely everything. In the end, we’re delighted to get the win against a good team full of energy, full of young players.
“I’m delighted personally to come away mainly with the three points but also a goal and an assist.
On his goal, he explained: “I think, did Ruben go into a tackle or something? Then the ball’s come to me and when I’m in that position of the left-hand side running into the opposition penalty area I’d back myself in a one-v-one against anyone to have a go.
“That’s what I’ve done and luckily it’s paid off and I managed to hit the back of the net this time. I had a few in the first half that got blocked but I’m obviously delighted to get the ball.”
Elsewhere in the group, a Paris Saint-Germain side that included Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the starting line-up together for the first time could only draw 1-1 with Club Brugge.
Grealish believes that result shows that anything can happen in the competition, warning the Parisians that City were ready to take them on next time out.
Asked if City were ready to try and win the competition again, he added: “Yeah of course. I’ve just [been] inside there and checked the result from the other game and it just shows that anything can happen in the Champions League.
“I think that’s why it’s such a wonderful competition and I was delighted as soon as the game kicked off I thought to myself: ‘I’ve actually played in the Champions League now.’ Before with the music and everything it was so nice and the game just topped it all off.”