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FT: Manchester City 0 Barcelona 2

TITLE_TEXT:FT: Manchester City 0 Barcelona 2:TITLE_TEXT

Last Updated: 18/02/14 at 21:59

Man City 0 Barcelona 2. All over and the visitors head home with a commanding first leg lead in this last 16 encounter. City now have a mountain to climb.Oles from the away support. City fans silent. This isn't what they were hoping for tonight. It was all going so well under Demichelis saw red.Neymar looking for a third. He tees up Messi on the edge of the box. The ball gets caught under his feet and he can't get any power into a shot which fails to trouble Hart.Game over and could be tie over for City.GOAL BARCELONA - ALVES. A late sting in the tail as the visitors double their lead. Alves has kept on breaking down the right and this time he exchanges passes with Neymar and threads the ball through the legs of Hart.Sergi Roberto moves down the left, checks his run and plays backwards. Barca happy to keep the ball and run down the clock. They have their away goal.Silva sends over the corner, but it is dealt with by the first man. Nasri with a very ambitious effort which sails towards the corner flag, but is kept in play by Toure. Zabaleta can cross towards Dzeko, but his nod down won't drop for Silva inside the box.Dzeko gathers with his back to goal, and is forced to play the way he is facing. Kompany lumps forward again and City have numbers attacking. Cross from the right from Silva has Valdes troubled, and he touches behind for a corner.Neymar flagged offside, allowing Barca to make their latest change. Fabregas' return to English soil is over as he is the one to make way for Sergi Roberto.Whistle goes, but Dzeko doesn't know that. He was pulled up for a nudge on the shoulder of Pique. It allowed the ball to loop through to him and he was one-on-one with Valdes. He couldn't force the ball through the Barca keeper anyway.Clichy with a heavy touch and sees the ball run out of play. He's done a lot of running tonight, but has also been poor at times and done his side few favours. Nasri now hounding Alba and winning the ball back.Busquets down and looking for some sympathy, of which he gets very little from the home support. City trying to counter, but Pique can keep Dzeko in check.City will feel that 1-0 isn't a bad result with 10 men and know they will head to the Nou Camp still very much in the tie. Pressure will be all on Barca on home soil and that could work in their favour.Ball in the net but it won't count. Great football again from Barca. Xavi shapes to shoot, but rolls a pass into Fabregas. Hart dives out to meet him and the ex-Arsenal man squares for Pique to roll home. Fabregas was, however, offside when he collected the ball.Dzeko has to pull wide and slow the move down as he waits for support. The second wave arrives. Toure floats the ball into the box for Nasri, but he can't beat Pique in the air. City then shoot themselves in the foot as Lescott plays a sloppy back-pass towards Hart and behind for a corner.City trying their best to get on the ball and pose an attacking threat of their own. They have shown that Barca can be caught napping. Fernandinho now leading a charge.Neymar in behind Clichy and has open field to run into. He is very quick, but not quick enough to catch up with a wayward pass.Zabaleta picked up bombing down the right. He controls the ball into the path of Silva, who controls on his chest and strikes with his right boot. Smart low stop from Valdes. City almost level.Mascherano has his name taken. Typically robust challenge from the Argentine in an area of the field in which he needed to just stand Fernandinho up and halt him in his tracks.Neymar involved immediately, as a run takes him through the box. City can force him backwards, and are then relieved to see the flag go up as Fabregas ghosts in behind. Hart was there to close him down.Changes made by both sides. Neymar is now on in place of Sanchez, while City have mixed things up in their front line by replacing Negredo with Dzeko.Fernandinho looking weary. Not what he needed in his first game back. City with 10 will have to dig very deep from this point.Negredo forced out to the corner flag. Pique with him, the City man goes down but gets nothing. He was looking for it and was barely touched. Movement on the Barca bench now. Not good news for the hosts as Neymar is being readied.Busquets with a block challenge on Silva, which halts the Spaniard in his tracks. Pellegrini among those calling for a card, but none is shown.Clichy allowed acres of space, with Alves caught napping. He can carry the ball into the box and look for support in the middle. There is plenty of it, but the Frenchman slices a poor cross into the arms of Valdes.Zabaleta looking to try and emulate Alves by offering support on the flanks. Nothing doing for him on this occasion.Alves should have made it two. Sharp interchange with Sanchez sees Alves played in behind Lescott. He is looking for options square, but there aren't any. He drills across Hart, and inches wide of the post.Alves well forward, operating as a winger now. He is able to get his head up and spot Xavi arriving on the edge of the box. The ball pulled back to Xavi is a good one, but his shot isn't the best and sails high into the stands.Messi involved again, and has Lescott all over him. Free-kick given. Barcelona start all over again.Alba cross from left back to cover a run from Negredo. Nasri working hard to chase the ball down. He forces Pique into a hole, but he can fire his way out. Messi caught by a perfectly-timed challenge from Kompany.Alves able to feed a dangerous cross into the front post. Sanchez sniffing around, but can't see the ball until late and is unable to react in time as it bounces past him and into the arms of Hart.Great interplay between Nasri and Negredo, as City spring the offside trap. Negredo flicks a one-two into the path of Nasri, but he can't work a yard and sees a shot from 18 yards out blocked. City now pushing out as they win a throw.Xavi fires the ball over, and Hart can punch to relative safety. City have no-one outside their own box and Barca can gather. THey decide to go all the way back and give Valdes a touch.Pique well inside the City half and sent sprawling by a combined challenge from Zabaleta and Kompany. Free-kick to Barca wide on their left.Barcelona looking to move City around and grind them down. Going to be very difficult for the hosts from this point. Silva having to track back, and he glances a floated pass behind for a corner. Messi takes it short.Alba drifting into acres of space. He whips over a first time cross which Messi looks to get on the end of. Flag up and he can't make contact anyway.City have to make a change, and decide to make two. Lescott brought on in place of Kolarov to fill the void at centre-half and Nasri replaces Navas.Barcelona dominating. Messi sees a shot blocked, then Iniests is freed in behind Zabaleta. He tries to cross with the outside of his right boot from the left by-line, but fires into the chest of Hart.Barca will now expect to see more gaps open up. They have been playing in front of City, but are now faced with 10 men. City need to hold their nerve and keep battling away. Clichy gets an important touch to keep out Sanchez.City punished for switching off. Navas thought he had won a free-kick, but nothing was given and Barcelona sliced them open. Fernandinho has dropped in at centre-half.GOAL BARCELONA - MESSI. Deadlock broken from the spot. Messi makes no mistake as he waits for Hart to make a move and then rolls the ball the other way. Hit very central, but Hart had dived to his left.Oh dear. In the blink of an eye Messi is sent scampering down the middle. Demichelis slides in from behind and brings the Argentine down. Right on the edge of the box but a penalty is given and Demichelis is sent off.City now sitting off again. Xavi finds Alba on the left, but his attempted cross is blocked at source by Zabaleta. Barca try again, with Messi operating from deep. Fabregas floats the ball towards Messi, but Fernandino is there for City.Messi can't combine with Xavi 35 yards from goal. City are camped on the edge of their own box though. Sanchez feeds over a cross from the right, which Demichelis glances to safety.Messi suddenly springs into life and has Fabregas to his left. He is forced wide and is outnumbered on the by-line. Kompany then has to hack anywhere with Barca upping the tempo.Demichelis gets in front of Sanchez, and Kompany can look left again. Kolarov and Negredo win a throw off Pique. Barca now giving the ball away cheaply - they've barely had a kick in the four minutes since the re-start!Kompany sprays wide towards Kolarov. Clash of heads with Alves leaves both men down. Both are soon back on their feet and okay to continue. Uncontested drop ball goes Barca's way.Hart hammers long, into the feet of Navas. He dances inside and finds Silva. Better from City, as they make Barca do the running. Kolarov bundles past Alves and finds Negredo, who shows good strength.No changes at the interval by either side, but expect both managers to turn to their benches if things stay as they are. Plenty of attacking weapons in the sidelines. City looking to keep hold of the ball early in the second period.Barcelona get us up and running once more.Players back out for the second half.Sagar Singha says: "I think good half for us! Last 30 min with Nasri and Dzeko in we must attack with everything!!!! CTID"Sean Nettleton says: "1-0 Barca here man. Neymar to come on with Pedro, and he'll bang the winner 78th minute."Jacob Matts says: "Barca need to win, Bring on the second half. #1-0"Jack and Jim say: "For all Barcas fancy football, Man City have had twice the number of shots as Barca. City can do this? I predict 1 0 to City. Toure to score the winner."Remember you can also bet in-play at Skybet.com. City are now 5/2 to come out on top, with Barca 11/8 and the draw available at the same price. You can get 4/1 on the visitors to win 1-0.How do you see the second half going? Get your thoughts in to Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.Man City 0 Barcelona 0. Goalless at the interval. City have had their moments and will be happy enough at the break.Valdes drills long. Kompany jumps into Xavi, as the ball sails over both of them. Free-kick to Barca on halfway. Ball played to Messi, who brings Iniesta into play. Slow build-up from the visitors.Mascherano out to meet Navas, and he wins a throw. City looking to keep Barca pegged inside their own half. They do a good job, but Demichelis then lifts the ball long. It drops to Silva, who has Navas in support. He delivers onto the head of Negredo, but he diverts a header well wide.Messi wide to the right for Alves. Another hopeful cross is flung over, which never troubles the City back four. They were backtracking for a moment, but as soon as the ball went wide the danger passed.Navas cuts inside from the right, but has to go square. He gets the ball back from Toure, and is then sprung towards the corner flag. He hooks a cross over his head, which is dealt with easily.Sanchez stumbles on his way around Kolarov and knocks the ball out for a throw. Hart happy to go long, with Negredo knocking into the path of a blue shirt. City can now look to press with numbers.Busquets caught late by Fernandinho, but play continues. Alves allowed to run a long way, but crosses straight onto the head of Kompany. Negredo pulled up again as he nudges Mascherno to the turf on halfway.Barca win a throw by City's corner flag. Fabregas unable to get past Toure. He tries his best to win the ball back, but is outmuscled and ends up tugging the City midfielder to the ground.Messi dropping deep again. Eager to get involved, but still lacking that spark at the moment. Barca work the ball sideways, inviting City to step out.Negredo down on the edge of the area after tangling with Mascherano. He is waved back to his feet. Kolarov next to go into the book for a two-footed challenge on Busquets.Kolarov caught in two minds 30 yards from goal, and makes no decision. He is then tripped and wins a free-kick. City take it quickly, wide to Clichy. He hangs the ball over and Negredo glances wide from 12 yards out. Fabregas and Mascherano making life difficult for him.Toure grabbing at the shirt of Iniesta after getting the wrong side. Free-kick taken quickly, but Clichy gets a toe to the ball for City. Fabregas then looks to bend the ball towards the back post from a deep position, with Sanchez on the move, but the pass slips behind for a goal kick.Messi and Xavi over the ball, which is placed fairly centrally. Messi wins the argument, but drills straight into the wall. Not his best effort. Xavi may take the next!First effort on target from Barca despite dominating possession. Here they come again, with Kompany stepping across the path of Messi. Free-kick given, 35 yards from goal, as the City skipper made no play for the ball.Messi darts down the middle, slipping through the gears. He lays off to Alba on the left. Patient play from the visitors, waiting for holes to open up. Xavi decides he can wait no longer and tries his luck from 30 yards out. Hart parries up in the air as he dives to his right, but can gather at the second attempt.Messi exchanges passes with Xavi on the edge of the penalty area. The ball ends up on his right foot and he sends a tame effort over the crossbar as he falls backwards. City rocking slightly, but have survived the scare.Nervous moment for City as Iniesta dances through the box. He can't find space for a shot, but City know they can't dive in. The ball runs loose and a cross from Alves only finds the hands of Hart.Fabregas tripped by Fernandinho. Referee has a stern word with the Brazilian, who was very late. Barca take the free-kick too quickly. When play does get back under way, the visitors go left to Fabregas.Sanchez into the box, and finding Alves. Blue shirts swarm around the man on the ball and Barca can do nothing with it. As Negredo tries to chase down from the front, he is booked for sliding in late on Pique.City growing into the game and are starting to unsettle Barca. Kolarov fires square to Silva, who moves the ball on to Negredo on the edge of the box. His flick doesn't come off, but the ball is soon back with him as he tests Valdes with a snap-shot from 20 yards out.Mascherano wide to Alba. Iniesta can't combine with Fabregas. City look to try and make use of Navas' pace down the right, but the ball runs through to Valdes and he can hack up to halfway.Mayhem in the Barca penalty area. Silva whips the ball over and Valdes tries to come and punch. He can't get anything on the ball and Kompany bundles it towards the goal. Toure among those trying to force it over the line, but Valdes gets back and is awarded a free-kick.Kolarov can't skip past Sanchez by the corner flag, so settles for a throw. City keep pressing and Fabregas concedes a free-kick. Opportunity to load the box from a set-piece wide on the left flank, level with the edge of the box.Toure back to Demichelis, who goes all the way back to Hart. His clearance is brought down on the chest of Kolarov. He invites Clichy forward from full-back and Alves is booked for another mistimed tackle.Silva sliding in on Busquets, but only pokes the ball into Mascherano. City force the issue from the front and Alba is left with no choice but to fire down the left flank towards nobody. Fernandino then caught by Fabregas.Kompany wins another throw on halfway. Ball bobbles around midfield, before Iniesta plays it off Fernandinho and out of play. Xavi the latest to try and get Sanchez in behind, but again the pass has too much on it.Pique runs Barca out. He goes over the top for Sanchez, but the ball runs through to Hart. City now trying to play their way out from the back. Zabaleta wins a throw.Toure wide to the left for Clichy. He goes down the line to Kolarov, who is again upended by Alves. Barca full-back needs to be careful. City work the ball to Silva, who feeds down the middle for Negredo to chase. He gets there first, around Valdes, but is forced very wide and can't clip a shot back on target.Encouragement for City and their supporters. Fans haven't had much to cheer so far. Barca back in possession, with Alves flicking into Messi. A low cross is met by Clichy, and Alves then bundles into the back of Kolarov.Toure with a surge through the middle and finding Navas. He drills a low cross to the edge of the box, looking for Silva. The ball loops up into the air and Valdes comes to claim. He is tripped by Negredo.Barca win a free-kick on the edge of their own box. No surprise to see them play their way forward. Ball ends up back with Valdes, who clips up to halfway. Sanchez adjudged to have fouled Clichy.Kolarov felled by Alves just inside the Barca half. City go back to Kompany from the free-kick. He drills long down the middle. Negredo can't pull the ball out of the air, but Mascherano needs a couple of bites of the cherry to clear. Direct approach almost worked.Clichy with a poor pass which Kolarov fails to control. Passing has to be better from City. Fabregas holds off Navas and finds Xavi. He feeds into the feet of Sanchez, who suffers a heavy first touch.Xavi whips the ball over again. Hart comes through the crowd to punch clear. Solid from the City keeper. Barca not the biggest side in the world so shouldn't provide too much of a threat from set-pieces. On the ground, Fabregas finds room on the left but curls a cross over the head of Sanchez at the back post.City trying to push up the field, but Barca play around them. Alves bombing down the right, and is found by Messi. His cross from the right is deflected behind for a corner.Barca still going through the motions in the middle of the park. City happy to sit off and let them have it. They would have known that this was going to happen. Demichelis nicks the ball off Messi, but then gives it away. No out ball for City.Sanchez can't find a way around Clichy. Barca come again though. Messi allowed to turn 35 yards from goal. City have nine men behind the ball, which is allowing Alves and Alba to push forward.Clichy surrenders possession with a looped pass towards Silva - who isn't going to win much in the air! Barca with neat, short, crisp passes in midfield.City can't keep the ball, which will concern Pellegrini. Fabregas involved again, and he finds the feet of Messi. Smart challenge by Kompany on the edge of the box. City now on the ball. Silva finds space and has Kolarov outside him. Hosts move from left to right.Fabregas runs away from Toure, but the City man sticks to the task. Barca again have to go back to their defenders. Messi drops deep to get involved. Fabregas takes over and breezes past Kolarov, before being blocked 30 yards from goal.Zabaleta biting at the heels of Iniesta, but sending him crashing to the turf. Free-kick given. Barca straight back into passing mode. Iniesta with a rare misplaced pass, straight to Fernandinho.Negredo unable to make the ball stick up top for City. Fabregas spreads wide for Barca, but Clichy has Sanchez well covered. Loose pass from Demichelis slides out for a Barca throw.Messi into the path of Sanchez, who slips into the box. Clichy has to put the ball behind for the first corner of the night. Xavi whips the ball over, and Kolarov nods out at the near post. Navas leads a counter and finds Zabaleta. He feeds Negredo down the right, who sees a low cross on the turn fired out by Mascherano.Patient build-up from Barca, as they slowly edge down the field. City can't get the ball back! Visitors happy to go backwards and start again when their path is blocked. Finally, Fernandinho gets the ball back, only for Negredo to give it away.Alves tripped by Fernandinho inside his own half. Barca go back and along their back four. City looking to press high up the field - that has to be their approach. Pique strides out, but has little to aim at. Messi drifting through the middle.Early touch for Hart, as he hammers down field. Navas unable to touch on in front of Alba. Throw to Barca. No surprise to see them look to get their passing game going from the off.City get us up and running.Xavi and Kompany lead the two sides out. Champions League anthem rings out around the packed arena and we are very nearly ready for the off.The teams are in the tunnel so we will have to leave the feedback there for now. There will be further opportunities to have your say at half-time and at the final whistle. Game faces on!Blue Moon already ringing out around the Etihad. Atmosphere has been steadily building and is about to reach fever pitch. Both sides expecting big things tonight.Worth noting that Barcelona have won just one of their last eight games in the knockout stage of the Champions League, and it's been well publicised that their record in England isn't great. Could all work in City's favour.Bradley Hamblin says: "I think it could go either way but I think it's going to be 2-1 Barcelona, but it will be very close."Bold shout from Ben Foulkes: "I can see an attacking masterclass being produced by Man City tonight and I predict a narrow 3-2 with Demichelis bagging a hat-trick."Alex says: "As a Man City fan I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the line up. Nasri came on and played well against Chelsea and Jovetic has been playing well too in recent weeks, plus I don't think Fernandinho and Yaya are the best at getting back to help the defence. Unfortunately I can see Barcelona winning 3-1."Stuart Middleton says: "City vs Barca has got 0-0 written all over it!!"Adam Dale disagrees: "I say it's going be a close game but I think Man City 2-1. Negredo and Aguero and Messi for Barca. COME ON CITY!!!"Mujahid says: "I really fear for Man City. Messi is going to destroy Demichelis, and they have no Aguero. 2-0 Barca - Messi x2."Just over half-an-hour until kick-off at the Etihad. Keep your pre-match thoughts coming in to Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.I'm hoping all of these predictions of a goal-fest prove to be correct, but I'm not convinced. Neither side will want to give much away in the first leg.Matthew Turner says: "Barcelona to win 3-2."Jack Bland fears for City's chances: "Can see Barca winning this too much quality and big game player Aguero not playing, easy money betting Barcelona I can see 0-2 unless City open up after conceding."Ryan Bishop says: "Barca to win 2-1. Messi and Sanchez. Negredo for City. Barca have the best 11 by a mile. City are nothing without Aguero. And why is Pellegrini playing 5 defenders? Parking the bus at home?! He has no faith in Dzeko and Jovetic!!"Matthew Hedges says: "I am so surprised that Demichelis starts before Garcia, unless he is tired or has a knock I can't see the benefit of leaving him out. Sure the football is slower in Spain, but you know you can't play through Barca, even though they are on the "decline"..."Adam Gillis says: "Realistic prediction from a realistic City fan. This will be our toughest test of our career and this will be a thrilling 3-3 with Barca taking the second leg 2-1."Kevin Dineen is looking forward to this: "Should be quite a game! Lots of attacking movement and hopefully goals. Favoring Barca here just by a smidge as City seem to be wobbling just a tad and Barca, though not the best team in years, still has a formidable team, and they will be looking to get back to the finals after two poor seasons of CL football. I'll be curious to see how Messi and Neymar handle the physicality of the game. 2-1 to Barcelona."For the record, tonight's referee is Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.Emmet Griffin sees things slightly differently: "Barca win, 3-1 with Messi scoring all 3! First goal within the first 5mins."Chris Green says: "Man City to win 2-0, with Toure and Negredo scoring the goals."Jack Bell also sees a home win: "City win 2-1. They've been destroying teams at the Etihad and with Fernandinho back, they'll have too much steel to lose."Liam Ferguson is quickest out of the blocks, saying: "3-2 to City in a flowing attacking game, goals for Messi (2) & Fabregas, and a Negrado hat trick."Barcelona team: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Messi, Sanchez. Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Adriano, Song, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Neymar.Man City team: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Kolarov, Silva, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Garcia, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko.You can also bet in-play throughout the evening at Skybet.com. There is little to choose between the sides prior to kick-off, with City 9/5 to come out on top, Barca 7/5 and the draw is 13/5. You can get City to win 1-0 Price Boosted to 14/1.Can City claim a notable scalp or will Barca head home with a first leg lead? Will it be a cagey affair? Which stars will shine brightest? Let me know your thoughts.How do you see tonight's game going - the first competitive meeting between these two heavyweights? You can air your thoughts by contacting me direct at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.Both teams secured morale-boosting successes in their last outing over the weekend, so should be full of confidence, and both have been loaded with goals this season - with City plundering 117 and Barca 111.City are gracing the last 16 of Europe's premier club competition for the first time, while Barca are four-time winners and among the favourites to go all the way again in 2014.This is the kind of occasion that City will feel justifies the heavy investment they have made, with there a really buzz around the Etihad as the Blues prepare to mix it with the cream of the continental crop.Welcome to the Etihad Stadium for our coverage of tonight's UEFA Champions League encounter between Manchester City and Barcelona.

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heyremind me of Utd's treble winning side. Swashbuckling and risk prone. We ha Jaap Stam to paper over the cracks at the back though. Not sure they have their Jaap yet.

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lexis Sanchez; too good for Liverpool, Stevie. :)

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he solution is to not feel sorry for any of Jabba, Gold or Sullivan. They're all deeply unpleasant and all deserve each other. If only West Ham would sign Barton and Suarez then no one would ever need to despise any other club.

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