The UEFA Champions League resumed last night, with Barcelona gaining a vital 2-goal away win over Manchester City.
The turning point of the tie arrived nine minutes into the second half as Lionel Messi was sent sprawling inside the box by Demichelis and dusted himself down to convert from the penalty spot, before Daniel Alves added what could be a crucial second for the Catalan giants in the final minute of the 90.
City had held their own until being reduced to 10 men, with opportunities of note in short supply as both sides looked to keep things tight with a return date at the Nou Camp in the back of their mind.
Manuel Pellegrini’s hosts were able to soak up plenty of pressure in the opening 45 minutes, as Barca’s tiki-taka approach saw them dominate possession, but Joe Hart was rarely troubled and it was Victor Valdes in the opposing goal who endured the more nervy moments.
It only takes a matter of seconds for Barca to carve opponents open, though, and they did just that early in the second period.
With City caught napping, Messi was sprung into space and while Demichelis appeared to lunge into a challenge just outside the box, contact was made inside and he was sent trudging from the field as Barcelona’s Argentine talisman sent Hart the wrong way from 12 yards out.
The visitors kept on pressing from that point, looking to make their numerical advantage count, and in the dying seconds the energetic Alves exchanged passes with fellow Brazilian Neymar before rolling through the legs of Hart.