Champions League - Round of 16 - 1st Leg
Man City0Barcelona2

Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona

Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Manchester City's Joe Hart

Manchester City's Champions League ambitions look all but extinguished after Lionel Messi and Dani Alves gave Barcelona victory in the last-16 first leg at Etihad Stadium.

Messi broke the deadlock from the spot in the 54th minute after he was fouled by City defender Martin Demichelis, who was also sent off for a challenge that was initially made outside the penalty area.

And despite a defiant response from Manuel Pellegrini's side, Alves delivered what is surely the decisive blow when he exchanged passes with Neymar before sliding a cool finish under City keeper Joe Hart in the final minute.

Manuel Pellegrini

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Manuel Pellegrini criticises referee Eriksson

City's supporters applauded their side's efforts at the final whistle but the subdued atmosphere around the ground moments later reflected the brutal reality that the task of recovering this tie is surely beyond them in the second leg at the Nou Camp.

This was not vintage Barcelona but they still carried enough threat to produce moments such as Andres Iniesta's brilliant pass that led to the penalty and, without the presence of Sergio Aguero, City's threat was limited.

Games such as this were what City's Abu Dhabi-based owners had in mind when they bankrolled the club - and while they are moving closer to the elite group there is still, understandably, work to do.

Pellegrini learned the lessons of defeat by Bayern Munich in the group stage and opted for Alvaro Negredo as a single striker - but City had to remain patient in the face of Barcelona's domination of possession early on.

City, however, were able to contain Barcelona, apart from a dangerous long-range effort from Xavi that Hart turned away.

The muscular Negredo was posing problems for Barcelona with his physical presence, while keeper Victor Valdes had to come through a crowd to save after David Silva's free-kick sparked a scramble in the six-yard area.

City would have felt satisfied with that opening 45 minutes but they were undone nine minutes after the restart and left feeling a sense of injustice as Messi put Barcelona ahead from the spot.

They felt Sergio Busquets had fouled Jesus Navas, allowing Barcelona to develop a move that ended when Demichelis fouled Messi as he raced on to Iniesta's pass.

Swedish official Jonas Eriksson pointed to the spot, even though City had a case that first contact was outside the area, then made matters worse by sending Demichelis off before Messi stroked in the penalty.

It led to an instant reshuffle by Pellegrini, who sent on Joleon Lescott and Samir Nasri for Navas and Aleksandar Kolarov in a bid to ensure there was no further damage as a result of City's numerical disadvantage.

Barca, though, were enjoying the sudden change in circumstances and Alves should have hit the target when he found space in the area, only to shoot wide of the far post from an angle.

Both sides made changes with 17 minutes left, Edin Dzeko coming on for Negredo while Brazil superstar Neymar, returning from injury, replaced Alexis Sanchez for Barcelona.

City were still battling and Valdes was forced into a sharp save from Silva's volley following fine approach work from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta.

If City could have restricted Barcelona to a one-goal lead they would have travelled to the Nou Camp on March 12 with some hope - but Alves has surely put the Catalans into the last eight.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 22Clichy
  • 42Y Touré
  • 4Kompany
  • 26DemichelisBooked at 53mins
  • 15Jesús NavasSubstituted forNasriat 58'minutes
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 9NegredoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forDzekoat 74'minutes
  • 21Silva
  • 13KolarovBooked at 37minsSubstituted forLescottat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Richards
  • 6Lescott
  • 8Nasri
  • 10Dzeko
  • 14Javi García
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 35Jovetic

Barcelona

  • 1Valdés
  • 22Dani AlvesBooked at 23mins
  • 18Alba
  • 16Busquets
  • 3Piqué
  • 14MascheranoBooked at 76mins
  • 6Xavi
  • 4FábregasSubstituted forSergiat 86'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9SánchezSubstituted forNeymarat 74'minutes
  • 8Iniesta

Substitutes

  • 7Pedro
  • 11Neymar
  • 13Pinto Colorado
  • 15Bartra
  • 17Song
  • 21Adriano
  • 24Sergi
Referee:
Jonas Eriksson

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home32%
Away68%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away4
Fouls
Home19
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 0, Barcelona 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 0, Barcelona 2.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Neymar.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 0, Barcelona 2. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Neymar.

Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Víctor Valdés.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Francesc Fábregas.

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Edin Dzeko (Manchester City).

Offside, Barcelona. Xavi tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Joleon Lescott.

Attempt saved. David Silva (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pablo Zabaleta.

Booking

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

Fernandinho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Edin Dzeko replaces Álvaro Negredo.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Neymar replaces Alexis Sánchez.

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

Attempt missed. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Dani Alves.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Joleon Lescott (Manchester City).

Attempt blocked. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Álvaro Negredo.

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by David Silva.

Offside, Barcelona. Jordi Alba tries a through ball, but Alexis Sánchez is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Samir Nasri replaces Jesús Navas.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester City. Joleon Lescott replaces Aleksandar Kolarov.

Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Manchester City).

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dani Alves.

Goal!

Goal! Manchester City 0, Barcelona 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the centre of the goal.

Dismissal

Martín Demichelis (Manchester City) is shown the red card.

Penalty Barcelona. Lionel Messi draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City) after a foul in the penalty area.

goal

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