'Super unjust' - Barcelona's Piqué criticizes Catalan trial
Pep Guardiola expresses shock that leaders are still imprisoned
Pep Guardiola expresses shock that leaders are still imprisoned
Manchester City coach was fined over symbol showing solidarity with jailed pro-independence leaders
Manchester City staged an exhilarating comeback and beat FC Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday at Etihad Stadium (3-1). Pep Guardiola’s team stole the game and the three points to Barça, who had the opportunity to sentence the first half, but started to feel the pressure six minutes before the interval, after an error by Sergi Roberto, leading to a goal and the resurrection of Manchester players. Ilkay Gundogan was undoubtley Manchester City star, scoring twice. The blaugrana, who were chasing a fourth consecutive win on English soil, did not achieve their objective. The home side desperation to get the three points beat Barça’s desire and marked a sense of urgency in their football.
A sweet victory for Luis Enrique on Wednesday night, soundly defeating his friend and former teammate, Pep Guardiola, 4–0, in the third Group C game for FC Barcelona and Manchester City. Lionel Messi, of course, was the star of the show, scoring thrice to leave not just his former manager on the losing end but his leaving his current manager almost lost for words. “He was decisive,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “He was involved in all the game’s key moments.” Guardiola was handily defeated at Camp Nou for the second time in two matches since leaving his lifelong club five seasons ago. Besides Messi’s seventh career Champions League hat-trick, Neymar Jr added a late goal.
Camp Nou welcomes back Pep Guardiola on Matchday 3 of the Champions League for what promises to be an exhilarating game. “There are games against opponents in which possession is not that important. It will be against Manchester City, but that does not mean that who has more possession will win”, said Barça’s coach, Luís Enrique, on Tuesday. Most manager’s fear facing Leo Messi, but Guardiola spoke of his joy to see former star back: “It’s always a pleasure to see him play and I am happy he is fit again,” before adding that, in his opinion, Barça are “the best team in the world”. Barça are looking for their third straight win of the campaign to consolidate their place at the top of the group while Manchester City will be craving a good result after drawing away to bottom side Celtic last time out.
FC Barcelona rode a solitary score from the foot of midfielder Ivan Rakitic to top Manchester City 1–0 on a crisp evening at Camp Nou, capping a 3–1 aggregate result and putting the Catalans through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Barça goalkeeper Marc-André Ter Stegen made a diving stop on a late Kun Agüero penalty kick to preserve the victory. Leo Messi, despite being kept off the score sheet, was at or near his best. Manchester City played at the limit of aggressivity throughout the encounter, drawing four first-half yellow cards. Barça’s next opponent will be determined in the quarter-final draw, set for Friday in Nyon, Switzerland.
Barça have the advantage from the first leg and will be looking to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals for the eighth successive Seaton. Barça knocked out Manchester City at this stage of the Champions League last season and will be looking to repeat the feat on Wednesday at Camp Nou after the 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium last month in the first leg. FC Barcelona boss Luis Enrique boss named an 18-man squad on Wednesday morning, with Masip, Montoya and Douglas missing out, alongside the injured Vermaelen and Sergio Busquets. Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini welcomes back former Barça midfielder Touré Yaya to his squad after suspension.
The two sides meet in El Madrigal in the second leg of their Spanish Cup semi-final on Wednesday evening (20h CET). The blaugranes have the upper hand in the tie following their 3-1 win in the first leg last month at Camp Nou. In addition, Barça have the advantage in their Champions League last 16 tie against Manchester City following their 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium. Their 3-1 away victory in the Spanish League at the weekend over Granada has allowed them to cut Real Madrid’s lead at the top of the league to just two points. Now, only Villarreal stand between them and a 36th appearance in the Spanish Cup final. Coach Luis Enrique has his entire first team squad available with the exception of the injured Thomas Vermaelen.
Two goals from the Uruguayan have set things up perfectly for FC Barcelona for the Champions League last-16-tie’s second leg at the Camp Nou on March 18 by repeating last year’s feat of winning at the Etihad. Kun Agüero pulled one goal back for Manchester City. This Tuesday’s game ended 2-1, with Joe Hart giving Man City a glimmer of hope by saving a Leo Messi penalty in the final minute of injury time. However, a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, and playing such spectacular football, is nothing less than magnificent and the result leaves Barça with every right to feel confident about their chances of making it into the quarter finals.
In the press conference ahead of the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie, Gerard Piqué has declared that he expects a “similar game” to the one last season. He also added that despite the defeat against Málaga in the Spanish League at the weekend, the Catalan team are in good form as well as highlighting Manchester City’s strengths. Piqué on the Champions League tie: “I think it will be a similar game to last season. We are two sides who like to attack and have the ball. There was a key moment in the first leg with Demichelis' sending off and the goal from the penalty spot, without that it would have been closer.”
The first leg in the last 16 of this season’s Champions League will be played in Manchester on the 24th of February with the return leg at Camp Nou on the 18th of March. The tie is a repeat of the encounter in the last 16 the previous season, which was the two sides' only previous meeting in Europe. Barça came through victorious. Manchester City appeared to be out of the competition at one point in the group stage but two excellent results in their last two matches earned them a place in the last 16. On Match Day 5 a late goal from Sergio Agüero gave them all three points against Bayern at home before they went to Italy to defeat Roma 2-0 to secure passage to the next round.
Goals from Messi and Alves see off City and book Barça's place on the quarter finals.FC Barcelona laid down a marker for the rest of Europe on Wednesday evening, cruising through to the last eight of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over Manchester City (4-1 on aggregate) with a performance that put to bed the doubts around the team after their weekend league defeat in Valladolid. Javier Mascherano insisted before the game that Barça weren’t down and out and tonight the team proved him right with an important win over one of the strongest teams left in the competition.
On Wednesday evening at the Camp Nou (20:45 CET), Barça will leave La Liga to one side and try to make good on the 0-2 from the first leg against Manchester City at the Champions League. City need two goals to force overtime and three to directly access the quarter-finals of the competition. One of challenges FC Barcelona face is to leave behind the negative results from Spanish League play. The 0-1 away to Valladolid, which left Barça four points adrift of the top spot in the league, should be left behind as the team come into the match at the Camp Nou. It’s time to change the chip, as they say in Catalonia and Spain. All available players, besides injured Isaac Cuenca and Jonathan Dos Santos made the team.