A missed penalty by Lionel Messi in the final minute of the game did not stop Barcelona from gaining the advantage over Manchester City with a 2-1 victory over the English league champions at the Etihad Stadium
Barcelona were in cruise control from kick off and taught the Manchester City players a lesson in midfield control, pinpoint passing and crisp movement. It took only 16 minutes for Barcelona to take the lead through an all too familiar face, Luis Suarez, who was on the end of Lionel Messi’s cross but the Uruguayan’s header came off Kompany only to land back at Suarez feet who made no mistake the second time of asking, blasting the ball into the bottom corner of the net to make it 1-0. It was 2-0 in the 30th minute after some good work by Messi released Alba down the left wing before the Spaniard squared the ball into Suarez who poked the ball home to make it two for himself and Barcelona. Manchester City looked to fight back in the second half and created some decent chances and in the 69th minute, Silva beat Mascherano to the ball before releasing Aguero with a back heel. The Argentine then raced into the box before firing home to give Manchester City a fighting chance. Manchester City’s hopes of a challenge were however dashed in the 74th minute as Clichy was shown a red after receiving his second yellow. Things looked to go from bad to worse for Barcelona when Zabaleta brought down Messi in the box. Joe Hart however saved the resulting penalty to ensure that Manchester City did not face further embarrassment.
Manchester City have a little chance as they go the Camp Nou in two weeks’ time behind on the tie and a deficit of two away goals to overturn.