Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona match report and goals Champions League Group C
Manchester City beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad in Tuesday night's Group C Champions League match, putting Pep Guardiola's side just two points behind Barça at the top of the group.Copa del Rey live:Quarter Final Draw
Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona: match report
Pep Guardiola got one over on his former side at the second attempt in Group C of this year's Champions League, as his Manchester City side beat Barcelona 3-1 at the Etihad, with some whirlwind football in a captivating second half of football.
City had gone behind to a Messi goal in the first half and were under the cosh in the quarter of an hour after that until a Sergi Roberto mistake let City back into the match, with Gundogan slotting home from a Sterling pass. Scoring against Barcelona appeared to change City's mindset and they could easily have gone in at the break 2-1 up.
City determined to go for the jugular
Guardiola has clearly instructed his side to build on that momentum and City started the second half determined to go for jugular. And within five minutes they were in the lead, when De Bruyne fired a free-kick over the wall and past Ter Stegen.
Barcelona were also keen to go on the offensive, but their moves tended to break down as they reached the box, with Suárez's touch in particular letting him down on a number of occasions. The Uruguayan did however set up André Gomes for what should have been an equaliser on 64 minutes, with the score at 2-1, but he crashed his effort off the cross bar.
End to end football at the Etihad
The match flowed along at a hectic pace, with breaks from both sides, but it was the hosts who looked more dangerous throughout, with Agüero, De Bruyne and Silva all a handful for a leaky looking Barça defence. Luis Enrique, in addition to Barça's inability to hold the ball, will also be worried at how tired his side looked as the half wore on.
City made it 3-1 in the 73rd minute after yet another lapse in the midfield from Barcelona saw Gundogan get his second, with what might have been a fortuitous handball assist from Agüero on the deck which pushed a cross back to his teammate to fire home.
Barcelona did look to get a goal to get back into the match in the last 20, but even the MSN looked mostly bereft of ideas or spark and City held on for a win that sent the Etihad into raptures.
Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona: second half
Full time! That's it, Pep's Manchester City record a healthy 3-1 win over Barcelona to shake Group C up a little.
92'| Agüero across the top of the box, but can't get an unimpeded shot away. But the clock runs inexorably down.
91'| Kun wins a corner from Umtiti out on the right. City take their time over the corner. Of course.
90'| Neymar sends the free-kick in and finds Messi who somehow heads it onto his knee(¿?). Willy gathers gratefully.
89'| Navas fouls Neymar, fairly dangerous spot out left. 3 minutes of time added on.
88'| Suárez attempts an overhead kick. He doesn't really connect.
87'| De Bruyne off for City. Acclaim from the Etihad. He's been great tonight. Gets a big pat on the head from Pep. Nolito on for him.
87'| Suárez with a chance on the left, but his cross goes all the way through without causing any real trouble.
86'| Turan with a header into the corridor of uncertainty, but Willy spots it and nabs the ball as Messi scampers in sniffing for a chance.
85'| Barcelona probing for a second, Messi and Neymar nearly link up in the box, but City mop up.
82'| Third corner in a row for Barcelona and City break with De Bruyne down the right. But his cross is blocked.
81'| Messi free-kick... into the wall and corner. Willy saves to send it out for another corner.
80'| Mascherano crunches Agüero. The striker is in some pain after that one.
79'| Silva with a great, great outside of the boot ball to Agüero, who fires into the side netting. Fine football.
76'| Rafinha on for André Gomes, who is still ruing that chance he slammed off the crossbar.
74'| Agüero assisted on the ground when the cross hit his arm and flew back to Gundogan. Busquets booked for protesting about it to the referee.
73'| GOOOOAAAAL! Manchester City! Gundogan slams home after another break from City.
73'| Neymar swings in a corner, Willy comes well and punches clear.
72'| Luis Enrique gesticulating furiously, then shoves his hands frustratedly into the pockets of his big hooded coat.
71'| Agüero down the left, cuts inside finds De Bruyne, out to Zabaleta who gets the cross in, but neither Agüero or Silva can get onto it. City still keen.
69'| Sterling (already booked) coming off, and Navas coming on.
68'| City again win the ball back in the midfield and move it to Silva on the left, who interchanges with De Bruyne, but some Barça pressure sees City decide to take it all the way back to Willy and start again. Keepers playing with feet.
66'| City steal the ball and move it to Silva in the box who's just forced wide before he can get a shot off. Barcelona really struggling to hold the ball under pressure.
65'| At the other end it's Sterling who puts it perfectly for De Bruyne to run onto and shoot and his effort skiffs the outside of the post. End to end stuff indeed.
64'| Suárez cuts inside and sets up André Gomes who just has to finish, but he slams it off the crossbar!
62'| Turan gives the ball away and DE BRUYNE has the third right there for the taking, but just can't stretch enough and the ball runs away. Agüero has another chance at the back post but two Barça defenders manage to shepherd it out for a corner.
60'| Turan comes on for Rakitic. His first touch is a long ball looking for Neymar, but the City defence deal with it easily.
60'| Messi to Neymar who plays Suárez in, but he can't control it and the chance goes a-begging.
59'| And Fernando comes on for Fernandinho for City.
58'| Kolarov booked after pushing Rakitic over with a bit of a high arm.
57'| Busquets doing more fouling, in the midfield this time. Barça struggling when City come at them. And they're doing that a lot right now.
56'| Danger from De Bruyne down the left. Busquets chops. Foul. Silva swings the ball in and Agüero so close to making it three with a great jump and header.
54'| Barcelona finally get the chance to breath and put their foot on the ball, moving it around the back line and then up to Messi who wins a free-kick. From that Messi and Neymar nearly come up with something incredible, Messi finally chipping to Digne at the far post, but it's just overhit.
52'| City are fired up now, and Otamendi nearly converts at the back post after a De Bruyne free kick comes across the face of goal. Then Otamendi claims a penalty for being held back as a Sterling cross came in. All City right now.
50'| De Bruyne! GOOOOOAAAAAL! Pops the free-kick home! Ter Stegen should probably have done better with that. Maybe unsighted by his own wall.
48'| Agüero with skills to move down the right and lay off to Silva in the centre, but he's clattered and City have a free-kick in a very dangerous spot.
47' | Agüero! Decent shot! Just wide though.
46' | Cautious start from both sides, until ANOTHER Barcelona mistake lets City in. Sterling with a great chance, but instead of hitting it first time he decides to take a touch, it's not a good one and he's forced too wide and can only blast into the side netting.
45'| Peep! Off we go!
Just before second half | Teams are out for the second half at the Etihad. Pep shouting into Agüero's ear.
Manchester City started brightly at the Etihad, looking to hit Barça on the counter with on-form Agüero, back in the side after missing out at the Camp Nou, causing trouble in behind the Barcelona defence. And City should have been awarded a penalty when Umtiti caught Sterling in the box, standing on the forward's foot, but referee Kassai misread the situation and booked Sterling for diving.
City continued to look for the opener, but were hit by a sucker punch after 20 minutes when Barcelona turned a clearance under pressure into a lightning counter that Messi finished after a sublime ball from Neymar.
Barcelona mostly dominated from that point, and were whiskers from a second on several occasions, until a Sergi Roberto mistake let City in, with Gundogan finishing after neat interplay from Agüero and Sterling. Another Roberto mistake then saw Agüero nearly grab City's second as the home side used the momentum from their equaliser to change the balance of the match again.
Manchester City 1-1 Barcelona: first half
45'| The free-kick comes to nothing and that's it for the first half. Honours even!
44'| Dangerous free kick for City, Silva over it...
43'| Zabaleta wins a corner and urges the fans to make some noise. They are making quite a lot right now.
42'| Messi tumbles under a challenge in the box, looks incredulous not to be awarded a penalty. But he isn't.
40' | Should have been 2-1! Roberto gives the ball away again and City get a 5 on 3 break which finishes with Agüero just milimetres from getting a toe on a ball right in front of goal.
38' | GOOOAAAAL! Manchester City level! Sergi Roberto gives the ball away in a terrible position, Agüero grabs it and gives to Sterling, who unselfishly slides it to Gundogan to equalise. That goal comes just when Barcelona were all over City.
37' | Ball worked out, gets as far as 25 yards out, Barça swing it back in, another Barcelona corner...
37' | Another Barcelona corner. Pressure building.
35' | Barcelona well on top right now. Manchester City forced back and are unable to get the ball away to their midfield, let alone forwards.
34' | Barcelona so close to the second! Gomes shot rebounds off a defender, then Messi neatly crosses to Suárez to nod home, but it's just too high and Suárez can't control it.
32' | Andre Gomes with great work in the box, the ball eventually falls to Neymar who shapes to get more space for the shot, but he loses control and the chance is gone.
30' | Suárez batters Fernandinho as the City man moves through the midfield. The Uruguayan looks very upset at a foul being awarded against him, but there was no doubt. City waste the chance, floating a ball to nobody in the box.
28' | And the other side of Neymar, booked for petulantly chopping Sterling after he'd lost the ball to the City man. (Just spotted we somehow had managed to get the score wrong in the heading above this, apologies for that. Barcelona are indeed in the lead).
27' | Neymar, Neymar, Neymar down the left, keeps going and going into the box and finally forces Willy into a save at his near post. Skills from the Brazilian.
26' | Possession Man City 37:63 Barcelona. Though City have been quick to get forward when they get the chance and have looked somewhat dangerous.
24' | Barcelona carve open City down the right, but Suárez is just a smidgen off connecting with the final ball.
20'| GOOOOOOAAAAL! Messi! Lightning counter and boom. 1-0. Neymar down the left, picks out Messi running through perfectly and the Argentinean slots home past Willy to put Barcelona on top. There were three City defenders back, but Neymar and Messi's football brains calculate angles like an IBM Super Computer, except faster.
That move for Barcelona started with them under siege in their own box...
20'| Rakitic loses control in his own half, and slams Gundogan as he tries to win it back. Yellow!
19' | Rakitic rattles Otamendi. City launch the foul long and don't find anyone in blue.
17' | City knock it about comfortable, looking for a tiny sliver of a gap to get the ball to Agüero, but Umtiti is marking him well and nicks the ball off him when it comes through.
15 ' | Just seen a replay of the Umtiti penalty incident, definitely caught Sterling's foot. That's a big let off for Barcelona.
14' | City looking dangerous on the break, with Agüero lively.
13' | Digne not having a great night so far. Goes to play a cushioned header with plenty of time, and can only find a man in blue.
10'| Sterling booked for diving! Agüero wonderfully down the right, great ball to Sterling who looked to go past Umtiti and went down. Ref had no doubt it was a dive, but replays are inconclusive. If anything it looks like Sterling jumped to avoid Umtiti's foot, then went down.
9'| Fernandinho in hard on Busquets, but Mr Kassai is not going to be drawn into showing a card yet.
7'| Special skills from Neymar, beating two back in his own half and then going on a run past another couple. Can't offload to anyone in the end, but showed the Etihad what he can do.
6' | Digne pulls Sterling on the run down! City demand a card. Probably deserved. City can't do anything with the freekick though.
4' | Barcelona very comfortable in possession, as ever. Busquets with some raking passes looking for Suárez a major danger.
2' | Kun in! Played in neatly, with Barça pushing up. But he's offside. Good backline management from Digne and Mascherano.
1' | Barcelona in their funky or horrendous navy kit with neon pink details and numbers. They play it round the back, and their fans have their hearts in their mouths as Ter Stegen just gets the ball away under pressure.
Kick off! | Luis Suárez gets us underway!
1' to go | All set at the Etihad!
Manchester City vs Barcelona: teams
The teams are out for tonight's Champions League match at the now not evacuated Etihad:
Manchester City XI
Caballero, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, Silva, De Bruyne; and Agüero.
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne; Busquets, Rakitic, André Gomes; Messi, Suárez and Neymar
Coach: Luis Enrique
Manchester City vs Barcelona: latest news
20:42 | BOO! BOO! BOO! BOO! There's a Champions League anthem playing, but you can barely hear it. Man City fans are no supporters of Uefa...
20:41 | Teams are in the tunnel. Excitement building at the Etihad! The individual responsible for the fire alarms still feeling nervous probably.
20:39 | Ref tonight is Hungarian whistler Viktor Kassai, who was on whistle duty in the 2011 Champions League final, when Barça beat Manchester United 3-1.
20:30 | Barcelona are sitting pretty at the summit of Group C, on a full 9 points, while Man City are back on 4 points, with a German team (Gladbach) on 3 and Celtic with just that solitary point they picked up against City, which started Pep's worst run as a coach. Here's how the table looks.
20:25 | These two sides met just a couple of weeks ago, and Barcelona handed out a 4-0 drubbing, with Bravo getting himself sent off. Here's our report of that game, if you're looking for something to while away the 20 minutes to kick-off.
19:13 | There's been a evacuation of the Etihad Stadium some three hours before kick-off, but nothing to worry about. According to Manchester City, a fire alarm was set off accidentally, meaning under safety protocols the ground had to then be evacuated. But the incident is over and the very early bird fans are back inside.
17:55 | Some Barça fans claiming he can't do it from 2m, but what happened when Luis Suarez tried to trap a ball from 35m?
17:20 | How did Spanish opposition (City, Legia, Rostov, Dinamo Zagreb) fare last weekend in their respective domestic leagues we hear you ask. Look no further...
16:25 | As City prepare for the Barça game, woes pile up for United coach Jose Mourinho
15:20 | Groups A, B, C & D are in action tonight. Here's your full set of UCL fixtures for November 1st.
13:50 | English soil has been somewhat of a happy hunting ground for Barcelona over the years. Here are five goals to remind you just how much!
13:35 | In some of today's big football news elsewhere: Frank de Boer has been sacked as Inter coach.
12:02 | Luis Enrique has claimed Guardiola will have "something up his sleeve" tonight. What could that be Luis?
11:00 | While AS editor Alfredo Relaño agrees with Messi that Barcelona are "more agressive" under Enrique, he argues that today's Barça are not as good as Guardiola's iconic Barça side. I suspect few would argue with him.
10:22 | So tonight sees Pep Guardiola face his old side Barça one again. Interestingly, Lionel Messi said just yesterday that Barcelona are "more aggressive" under Luis Enrique than they were under Pep. Guardiola's City, however, will certainly have to be the team to take the game by the scruff of the neck this evening: a loss would put them under some serious pressure in the group.
09:00 | Good morning! We're up bright and early to bring you all the day's Champions League news and buildup before the game tonight at the Etihad. We'll be giving you updates all throughout the day, so don't go anywhere!
Manchester City vs Barcelona: preview
Manchester City and Barcelona face off again just 15 days after their first encounter in Group C in which former Barça coach Pep Guardiola made an unhappy return to Camp Nou – his City side losing 4-0. In that match Lionel Messi was the great protagonist, exposing the fact the Guardiola’s project with the English side is very much still in construction. It also meant that Guardiola continued his unwanted record of not having won a game in Spain since leaving the Catalan club.
Some of the international press in the buildup to this game has even gone as far as claiming that Pep only has the reputation he does now thanks to Lionel Messi, and that without the Argentinian star, he wouldn’t be where he is today. While perhaps that would be a rather unfair assertion on the Manchester City coach, Guardiola understandably more than anyone knows just how much influence Messi can have on a team. Whenever he’s asked who the best player in the world is, his answer is always the same: Messi.
With tonight’s game, Guardiola and Manchester City have a second chance to get their Champions League campaign back on track after having been slightly derailed by the loss to Barça and draw with Celtic in Glasgow. It was that draw at Celtic Park that also derailed City’s great start to the Premier League: the team went six games without a win until the 4-0 defeat of West Brom on Saturday.
The biggest boost for City is the form of Kun Aguero, who’s back scoring goals for fun and seems to perfectly understand the way Guardiola wants both him and the team to play. His absence at the Camp Nou last month was, we are assured, owing to tactical reasons, but the Argentinian will almost certainly start tonight.
Kun will likely line up alongside Belgian Kevin De Bruyne and Englishman Raheem Sterling, two of the Premier League’s brightest talents. It is in defence where City will have to improve against Barça however after the all too noticeable deficiencies that were well taken advantage of by Messi, Neymar and co last time out.
Player to watch: Kun Agüero. In great form and will want to prove a point after being left out of the game in Barcelona.
Injuries to Iniesta, Jordi Alba, Piqué and Jérémy Mathieu mean Barça are left in a slightly weakened state for their trip to Manchester. Luis Enrique, then, will have to piece together an eleven without some of his key parts. However, Barça’s most dangerous threat comes through their formidable attacking trident of Messi, Suarez and Neymar (MSN) and Enrique will thankfully be able to count on all three.
Like with his Argentinian counterpart, Kun Aguero, Messi comes into this game in sparkling form, something that – if we wasn’t already – puts him right back in contention for the Ballon d’Or.
Enrique and Barcelona know that a result in Manchester will guarantee their passage through to the second round, yet they also know they’ll have to be better than they were against Granada on the weekend, where despite picking up all three points they were far from their pinnacle. They’ll also want to silence the criticism aimed at them last week after being accused of inciting the crowd during a controversial 3-2 win over Valencia at Mestalla, where again they were not at their best.
Manchester City vs Barcelona: possible line-ups
Manchester City: Bravo, Kolarov, Stones, Otamendi, Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Silva, Gündogan, Sterling, De Bruyne, Agüero.
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Mascherano, Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Rakitic, Arda, Messi, Luis Suárez, Neymar.
Coach: Luis Enrique