Barcelona 2 Manchester City 1 – Messi magic helps Barca through
Another English team bomb out of the Champions League after City are reduced to ten men at the Nou Camp
March 12th, 2014
Manchester City bowed out of Europe on Wednesday night following a spirited but ultimately toothless display against one of the Champions League favourites in the Catalan capital.
Manuel Pellegrini was banned from the touchline for this second leg encounter and the Chilean watched from the stands as his team toiled away against a classy Barcelona side, with Sergio Aguero particularly ineffective for the visitors.
Aguero has just returned from injury and didn’t look right during the first half to the extent that the Argentine was withdrawn at half-time, with Edin Dzeko looking powerful after the break and the Bosnian was unfortunate not to earn his team a late penalty.
Having been felled by Gerard Pique, the referee waved played on much to the chagrin of the Manchester City players and Pablo Zabaleta was sent off for a second yellow card after protesting too much according to the arbiter.
By that point, Barca had stretched their aggregate lead to 3-0 thanks to Lionel Messi who gave Joleon Lescott a torrid time before slotting past Joe Hart who had done well to keep out the home side until the 67th minute.
Captain Vincent Kompany was probably the standout player for City and the skipper found the net from close range to score what looked like an equaliser for the visitors, before Dani Alves scored a late winner to make the aggregate scoreline 4-1.
City now have the Premier League title race as their sole focus and travel to Hull City on Saturday, with David Silva withdrawn in the 72nd minute to preserve the Spaniard for the forthcoming weekend clash.