Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Champions League - Messi and Alves finds the net as Barcelona win 10-man City

Martín Demichelis was sent off as second-half goals from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves handed Barcelona a 2-0 win over 10-man Manchester City from their Champions League last 16 first leg tie at the Etihad Stadium.

After a tightly-fought first half in which neither side created many chances, Barcelona assumed control when Demichelis was red carded after he sent Messi crashing to the ground on 54 minutes.

Messi only had Joe Hart to beat as he sped in on goal. Replays suggested the tackle was made outside of the box, but Demichelis had to go as Messi picked himself up off the deck to send the ball down the middle with Hart diving to his left.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, City fought gamely with Victor Valdes forced to make a solid save from a David Silva volley in the final 10 minutes.

But they were undone again for a second time in the final minute of normal time with the outstanding Alves racing onto a pass from substitute Neymar to add the second goal.

City now needs to win 3-0 at the Camp Nou in three weeks time to avoid being eliminated at the last-16 stage. It looks an unlikely prospect, if not impossible.

It is difficult to see how Manuel Pellegrini's side can come up with a 3-0 win in Spain though. They could win the second leg, but you would have to fancy Barcelona to score at least one goal at the Camp Nou. They also don't seem to have a settled defensive partnership which is another problem that haunted them this evening.

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