Messi: Barca back to our best

Lionel Messi says Barcelona were back to their best in beating Manchester City to reach the Champions League last eight.

Last Updated: 13/03/14 at 10:41 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Happy with Barca's display against Manchester City

Lionel Messi: Happy with Barca's display against Manchester City

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Lionel Messi hailed under-fire Barcelona as back to their best as they saw off Manchester City to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League and keep alive their hopes of the treble.

Critics had rounded on Barca and their coach Gerardo Martino after the reigning champions suffered three defeats in six Primera Division matches, with the latest - a shock 1-0 reverse at lowly Real Valladolid on Saturday - seeing them fall four points behind arch rivals Real Madrid in the title race.

That loss came four days before Barca's Champions League last-16 second leg against City and would have given the English side increased hope they might be able to overturn their 2-0 deficit from the home leg.

However, there would be no fairytale recovery from City as Barca earned a 2-1 win on the night to progress through to the last eight 4-1 on aggregate.

And Messi, who was on the scoresheet along with Dani Alves - the same scorers as in the first leg, believes his side showed just what they are made of in Wednesday's match.

He said: "We were coming off two very serious setbacks away from home (at Real Sociedad and Valladolid), but more so for the performances than for the results.

"Here we've returned to be the Barcelona that we want, that the fans expect."

Messi also rubbished suggestions Barca's Primera Division title hopes have been sunk by their recent poor form, pointing out there are still 11 games to go - including a clash with leaders Madrid.

"I don't know if the criticism was exaggerated or not. We're the first to be self-critical and we know we haven't done things well, we know when we've done badly," said the Argentina ace, whose side are also through to the Copa del Rey final.

"We lost the opportunity to continue being close to Real Madrid, but the league isn't lost whatsoever. There's a long way to go."

Barca defender Alves echoed those thoughts, saying on his club's official website: "We're very happy to go on to the next round. When things aren't going well it's normal for there to be criticisms.

"Besides the goal I'm happy with how the team played, we always respond. There's only one path to follow. We had a slip, but we're moving forward."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

FIFA could face UK criminal probe from Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office is looking into claims of corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Scottish football: Aleksandar Tonev's appeal against seven-game ban to be heard on December 4

Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev will find out on December 4 if his appeal against a seven-match ban has been successful.

European Qualifiers: Cesc Fabregas buries hatchet with Sergio Ramos over Spain row

Cesc Fabregas says he has spoken to Sergio Ramos after the Real Madrid defender questioned his commitment to Spain.

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property