Ruben Dias has been one of the most, if not the outright most impactful signing of last summer. The Portuguese central defender has walked into the Manchester City line up and played like he has been a mainstay for years on end. The 23-year-old has offered an extra dimension to City’s defence along with leadership beyond his years.
Pep Guardiola’s side has been boosted by the arrival of a new leader, as they have looked much more organized in defence than they were before. An instance of Dias’ in-game leadership was spotted during Manchester City’s away encounter against Liverpool at Anfield tonight.
When Liverpool were awarded a free-kick right outside City’s penalty area right before half time, the City rearguard were getting themselves ready to defend the set-piece.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was the man crouching behind the wall to stop an effort from under the wall, but Dias estimated that the Ukrainian fullback’s position wasn’t quite right: as he tugged Zinchenko to the correct position by his head.
Dias seems to be quite the commander even when instructing someone a year senior to him, and his influence stands clear as daylight in a clipping of the match that has since gone viral on social media.
It is not an unusual sight to see players crouched under defensive walls while defending a free kick in the modern game. As the wall’s job is to jump in order to block the effort if attempted over the wall, the job of the foot soldier behind the wall is to block the effort if attempted under the wall.
The man behind the wall has to be in a perfect position to block the shot as well, and it is up to the goalkeeper and the captain to marshal their troops in order to stop the effort.
Ederson and Dias were definitely up to the challenge, as the league leaders emerged victorious by a 4-1 margin thanks to goals from Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden, as well as an Ilkay Gundogan brace.
Check out the reactions below –
Dias dragging Zinchenko. Just an incredible out-of-context clip pic.twitter.com/NdGb1nAPAP— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) February 7, 2021
Rúben Dias making sure the Manchester City wall was absolutely perfect 😂— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) February 7, 2021
Poor Zinchenko had no idea 🤣 pic.twitter.com/PDhakFgPiL