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City boss prays Messi is quiet

Manuel Pellegrini is hoping his Manchester City side get to face "the worst (Lionel) Messi" when they tackle Barcelona in the Champions League.

Last Updated: 18/02/14 at 10:30 Post Comment

Lionel Messi: Barcelona danger man

Lionel Messi: Barcelona danger man

The Argentina star bagged a brace in Saturday's 6-0 Primera Division home win over Rayo Vallecano to take him to 228 La Liga goals in just 263 games.

Messi is also just six behind Raul's 71 in the all-time Champions League goalscorers list and heads into the first leg of their last-16 tie in superb form with five goals in his last three matches.

And although Pellegrini admits he has never seen the 26-year-old have a bad game, he hopes he underperforms at the Etihad.

"I have never seen Messi play badly. He's either excellent or great. We hope to face the worst Messi - not the great one," admitted the City boss.

"It is difficult to stop him, it is. Without doubt, it's very difficult because he's the top player of the world and he has a lot of different qualities.

"He has speed, good balance and a good finish. He's very important, but I don't think Barcelona is Messi.

"You can have a lot of other players who will also decide the game as well, so it's important to play as a team, defending and attacking."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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