Should this season’s Champions League final end up going the full distance, Manchester City can rest assured that goalkeeper Ederson is fully prepared for penalty shootout glory against Chelsea — but not in the way you’d expect.
The Brazilian has declared his willingness to step up and take the potentially decisive spot-kick if he is so required when the two Premier League rivals face off in Porto on Saturday.
Ederson told Brazilian outlet TNT Sport this week when asked if he would potentially be asked to take a penalty: “I am [on the list].”
He added, when asked if he had been practising his spot-kicks: “I don’t need to train much. But the fifth one, I’m taking it. The decisive one. I think I’ll take the fifth one.”
Of the 11 penalties City were awarded during the campaign only 7 were converted, with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, and Sergio Aguero all failing to find the back of the net from 12 yards. City’s all-time top goal scorer Aguero was the most recent of those penalty flops, when his unsuccessful attempt at a Panenka against Chelsea earlier this month left him red-faced.
Those misses led to calls for Ederson to take over penalty duties but alas, for all Guardiola’s tactical flamboyance and outside-the-box thinking, he has steadfastly refused to hand the responsibility to his goalkeeper. After watching Gundogan become the third City player of the season to fluff his lines from the spot against Liverpool in February, Guardiola even said that he might be forced to turn to his goalkeeper to solve the issue: “He is an option because I am pretty sure he’s a good taker.”