Barcelona — 1-3–4
Manchester City — 0-0–0
10-man Barcelona dominated 10-man Manchester City in a lopsided second half, cruising to a 4-0 victory.
Barcelona pounced early, when Fernandinho slipped in the box and Messi finished from close range. It was the first of three goals on the evening for Messi, who made his return to the starting lineup for the first time since September.
The rout began in the second half, when City went down a man after Claudio Bravo was sent off. Bravo made a terrible pass right to Luis Suarez, and he was out of the box when his fingers tipped Suarez’s lobbed shot. That was the beginning of the end, as Messi and Iniesta tore apart a 10-man City defense, who were already struggling to corral Barcelona with a full side.
Barcelona are now firmly in control of their Champions League group, leaving City to fight off Celtic and Mönchengladbach for a qualifying spot.
Scroll down for info and video highlights throughout the match:
Messi draws a penalty, but Caballero stuffs Neymar to keep the score 3-0. Two minutes later, Neymar gets the goal back to make it 4-0.
Mathieu makes an unnecessary challenge on Sterling, and he gets a second yellow and an early exit. Both teams will play with ten for the final 20.
Barcelona’s passing is too good for City, and they carve up the back line for an easy goal. 20 minutes left and this could get ugly.
Another mistake gives Barcelona the advantage, and Messi calmly slots a low curving shot past Caballero. City haven’t given up with 10 men, but Barcelona’s home winning streak against English Clubs appears safe for now.
Claudio Bravo gets caught out against Luis Suarez, and an instinctive slap has sent him off early. It’s Willy Caballero in goal for City from here on out.
Barcelona have made their second substitute of the match due to injury, as Pique jogs off.
Jordi Alba was replaced by Lucas Digne within the first ten minutes, and now Barcelona’s key central defender is replaced by Mathieu.
Manchester City can’t afford to make many mistakes at Camp Nou, and they make a massive one early to give Barcelona the lead.
A knifing Messi had City on their heels, but Fernandinho was in perfect position to make a clearance. Fernandinho fell on his face, leaving a huge gap in the defense for Messi to step up and finish.
No major action so far, but lots of chatter about City’s purple and orange away kits.
No Aguero in the starting lineup for City.
Pep Guardiola has raised the level of play since arriving at Manchester City, but his first major test as City manager comes Wednesday. City travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona, the team that has sent City packing from Champions League two of the past three seasons.
Guardiola is a Barca legend, winning Champions League as a player and then raising 14 trophies as manager from 2008-12. Since taking over City they’ve been the class of the Premier League, but the team has only one point from it’s last two league matches.
Barcelona has similarly slipped this season, dropping two of their first eight La Liga fixtures. Things could be turning around for the club, as Lionel Messi prepares to make his first start since mid-September.
City and Barcelona are the big clubs in Champions League Group C, paired with Celtic and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Through two matches, Barcelona lead City by two points and both teams have a cushion over one-point Celtic and winless Gladbach.
Find out how to watch this match in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:
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