Man City earn thrilling win over Barcelona

manchester City celebrate

Manchester City will progress if they win at Borussia Monchengladbach on 23 November

Manchester City staged a thrilling comeback to run Barcelona ragged and secure a fully deserved Champions League victory at Etihad Stadium.

Lionel Messi’s 90th Champions League goal, a counter-attacking masterpiece complete with cool finish from Neymar’s pass, put Barcelona in control as half-time approached.

The whole emphasis of the game changed, however, six minutes before the interval when Sergi Roberto’s mistake allowed Raheem Sterling to set up Ilkay Gundogan’s simple finish.

City, seeking their first win over Barcelona at the sixth attempt, were irresistible from then on as Kevin de Bruyne’s free-kick curved past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the 51st minute.

Andre Gomes crashed a shot against the bar as Barcelona pressed for an equaliser, but City wrapped up a landmark win against manager Pep Guardiola’s former team with 16 minutes left when De Bruyne played in Jesus Navas and, when his cross fell loose from Sergio Aguero, Gundogan was once more on the spot to score.

City will reach the knockout phase of the competition if they win on 23 November at Borussia Monchengladbach, who drew with Celtic on matchday four.

  • Relive Man City’s thrilling win

Guardiola’s big statement


Guardiola’s side had less than 35% possession but managed 13 shots to Barcelona’s eight

Pep Guardiola’s methods may have been questioned after their 4-0 defeat at the Nou Camp, but this was just the sort of night Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi-based owners had in mind when they finally lured him to the Etihad.

City wanted to make the leap from the second tier of Europe’s clubs into the elite and nights like this, and performances like this, will increase confidence that he is the man who ensures they can bridge that gap.

This was a win achieved with all the Guardiola hallmarks, in a blaze of attacking football, passing, movement and a willingness to take on the best without forsaking his principles.

It was the most significant win of Guardiola’s reign so far – and offered up the rich promise of more to come.

City’s big guns blow away Barca


Gundogan scored twice and completed 96% of the 28 passes he played on the night

Barcelona may have been missing the defensive power of Gerard Pique and the midfield influence of Andres Iniesta, but nothing should be taken away from the manner in which City exerted control and dominated the Catalans once they had equalised.

Whereas Barcelona’s big three of Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez faded, City’s big players came to the fore and terrorised Luis Enrique’s side in the second half.

Aguero ran with courage, threat and unlimited energy, Raheem Sterling – one piece of poor control aside – was outstanding and was denied a clear penalty early on, while Belgian De Bruyne was peerless.

He scored City’s second, unlocked Barcelona’s defence for the third and looked a player of world class, fully deserving his standing ovation when he was replaced near the end.

City will grow in belief after overpowering Barcelona – and proved they have the players who can trouble the very best teams in the Champions League.

How far can City go?


Manchester City had lost all five of their previous meetings with Barcelona

Early days, but Guardiola knows what it takes to win the Champions League after guiding Barcelona to victory in 2009 and 2011, and Manchester City will take huge encouragement from this win.

City will feel that after beating Barcelona in this manner they can be a match for anyone, although questions remain about a defence that is not exactly risk-averse.

The big news for City and Guardiola is that they matched Barcelona for quality in this classic. There can be no bigger tribute than that.


City missed chances to score more on a jubilant night at Etihad Stadium

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 3, Barcelona 1.

Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, Barcelona 1.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Samuel Umtiti.

Foul by Lucas Digne (Barcelona).

David Silva (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jesús Navas (Manchester City).

Rafinha (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Substitution, Manchester City. Nolito replaces Kevin De Bruyne.

Offside, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by John Stones.

Attempt blocked. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

Attempt missed. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by David Silva.

Rafinha (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

Offside, Barcelona. Sergio Busquets tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fernando (Manchester City).

Substitution, Barcelona. Rafinha replaces André Gomes.

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal! Manchester City 3, Barcelona 1. Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergio Agüero.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Jesús Navas.

Substitution, Manchester City. Jesús Navas replaces Raheem Sterling.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) hits the right post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

André Gomes (Barcelona) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Samuel Umtiti.

Attempt blocked. Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov.

Substitution, Barcelona. Arda Turan replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Substitution, Manchester City. Fernando replaces Fernandinho because of an injury.

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