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Manchester City's Fernandinho matches Drogba's Champions League mark against Real Madrid

03:19 GMT+3 05/05/2022
Fernandinho, Drogba
The Brazilian midfielder has equalled a feat achieved by the former Chelsea striker in 2015

Fernandinho’s appearance for Manchester City against Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg fixture meant that the ex-Brazil midfielder has matched a Didier Drogba record that stood for seven years.

After replacing Riyad Mahrez with five minutes left on the clock, Feranandinho - who turned 37 on Wednesday - became the oldest player to play in the competition on his birthday since Drogba.

The Ivorian, who enjoyed a trophy-laden career before retiring, achieved the feat on March 11, 2015 when Chelsea squared up against Paris Saint-Germain at Stamford Bridge.

The former Cote d’Ivoire captain was among the goalscorers as the game ended on a no winner, no vanquished note as scores stood at 2-2 after the final whistle.

Back in 2001, David Season became the only older player to appear on their birthday on September 19, 2001 against FC Schalke 04 (38 years).

Even with Fernandinho’s display against the Spanish elite division outfit, he could not rescue the Citizens from crashing out of the tournament following a 6-5 aggregate defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. 

Manager Pep Guardiola has now suffered six eliminations at the semi-final stage of the Uefa Champions League (also 2009-10 and 2011-12 with Barcelona, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 with Bayern Munich), the joint-most of any manager along with Jose Mourinho.

“It is tough for us. We cannot deny it. We were so close to arriving in the Champions League final,” Guardiola to the club website. 

“We didn’t play much good in the first half. We didn’t find our game, but it’s normal in this competition. The second half was much better.

“After the goal we controlled it. We found the game, we arrived at the byline. Jack (Grealish) helped us to control the game and unfortunately, he could not finish when we were close.

“I have had defeats in the Champions League. I have had tough defeats with Barcelona against Chelsea when both games were exceptional and we could not reach the final.”

Manchester City have to pick themselves up with their Premier League title hopes still in the balance. They welcome Newcastle United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.