Men's Team

Champions in focus: Riyad Mahrez

In the latest edition of our series marking City’s 2021/22 Premier League title success, the spotlight is shone upon Riyad Mahrez.

To help celebrate another memorable campaign, which yielded our fourth Premier League trophy in five years, we take a closer look at the contributions of our City stars.

It was a true team effort with every player producing a significant impact. Today, we analyse the influence of our Algerian winger…

SEASON STATS

Appearances (all competitions): 47
Goals: 24
Assists: 9
Premier League appearances: 28
Cumulative minutes: 2931

SEASON HIGHLIGHT

The Algerian winger enjoyed another magnificent campaign with his skill and vision on the flank, and eye for goal adding potent weapons to City’s attacking firepower.

Mahrez brought all his experience to bear once more, not least in the big games with his composure and class again illuminating so much of our play.

That was never more evident that in our emphatic 4-1 derby victory over Manchester United at the Etihad back in March.

In tandem with Kevin De Bruyne, Mahrez bagged a brace of goals as City served up a dazzling derby masterclass to ensure we retained the Manchester bragging rights and took another step closer towards retaining the title.

With City 2-1 up midway through the second half, Mahrez produced a sublime moment of magic to extend our lead and emphasise a derby to remember.

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The 31-year-old met De Bruyne’s pin-point corner with the sweetest of half volleys from the edge of the box with the ball sweeping into the left-hand corner of the net via a slight Harry Maguire deflection.

It was a goal of the highest quality – but City and Mahrez weren’t finished there.

With time almost up, Mahrez latched onto a superb Ilkay Gundogan pass before thundering a 12-yard shot past David De Gea that rounded off another dominant derby display and further demonstration of our winger’s impact.

Overview

Mahrez again made a huge role in helping City to secure a fourth Premier League title in five seasons, finishing as City’s leading goalscorer for the season.

His return of 24 goals across all competitions represented his largest goal tally in four memorable seasons at the Club.

It also proved further demonstration of the vital influence of Mahrez on City’s trophy successes over the past few seasons.

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Blessed with terrific technique, supreme skill and a fantastic finisher to boot, Mahrez has all the attributes required to make the potent attacking force.

It’s no coincide that his efforts saw him voted as the Etihad Player of the Month in both December and February.

Given the fact he was also away from Club action in January through his African Cup of Nations duties with Algeria only further illustrates his enormous contribution.

Composure also underscores Mahrez’s game.

A classic case in point was our 3-0 win over Brighton in April.

Graham Potter’s side proved tough and obdurate opponents with the score goalless at the break with City needing victory to maintain our title momentum.

Mahrez it was who provided the all-important breakthrough, receiving Kevin De Bruyne’s superb 52nd minute through ball before beating Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez with a close-range effort that deflected off the outstretched leg of Lewis Dunk.

Just for good measure, he then provided the corner assist for Phil Foden to score our second as we went on to record a vital 3-0 win.

WHAT THEY SAID

Pep Guardiola: “I try to push him a lot.

“We struggle together because I know the quality he has and he’s a player I admire for the fact he handles the pressure.

“He likes to play in the biggest stages. It’s difficult to find that and players like him.

“Not just me, the whole club has an incredibly high opinion of him and his quality, no doubt about that.

“He’s an exceptional player. He’s a player that many teams would like to have.

“He’s scored a lot of goals, penalties, assists and everything and part of that is the quality. He reads the game perfectly when he has to attack or give an extra pass.”

Aymeric Laporte: “Aside from the goals, I think you have to look at every player and what they can do, how they play, how they do everything.

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“Riyad plays so good, he is unbelievable. His control all of the time when the long ball arrives, the commitment he shows in the game, he is unbelievable.

“Right now, he is in his best moment, and he deserves more.

“I am sure he will score more and more goals because he is working for it, and he has the talent also.”

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