By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, losing 2-1 at the Nou Camp and 4-1 on aggregate.
City went into the game as huge underdogs having lost the first leg 2-0 at home, and a comeback always looked unlikely in a game Micah missed out on due to a swollen knee.
Lionel Messi had an early penalty appeal turned away, whilst James Milner saw a snapshot flash just wide of the post. City were pressing high in an attempt to force mistakes from the hosts, but Barcelona always looked threatening on the attack.
David Silva spurned a good opportunity after being picked out by Pablo Zabaleta, whilst Neymar saw Joe Hart save his shot when through on goal, followed up by a Xavi effort that City’s stopper was once again equal to.
Fernandinho then turned stopper as Neymar rounded Hart, only for his compatriot to deny him at the final hurdle, and the sides went into the interval level at 0-0.
Messi was an increasing presence in the game, seeing a shot rebound off the post within minutes of the restart, whilst whilst Edin Dzeko – brought on to replace Sergio Aguero, who picked up an apparent hamstring strain – saw a header saved superbly by Victor Valdes.
The home side finally broke City’s stern defence as Cesc Fabregas’ ball found its way to Messi, who flicked past Hart to make it 1-0 on the night, and 3-1 on aggregate, whilst it come immediately have been 2-0 as Hart denied Xavi once again.
Dzeko had a strong shout for a penalty turned down after Gerard Pique appeared to trip him, and then Zabaleta was handed his marching orders as events threatened to spill over.
Just as Manuel Pellegrini’s men looked dead and buried, Vincent Kompany pulled one back, directing Dzeko’s header home to offer a glimmer of hope to the travelling supporters.
However, Dani Alves scored at the other end almost immediately after to make it 2-1, and 4-1 overall, as City once dropped out of the competition.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Cesc; Neymar, Messi, Iniesta
Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Milner, Silva, Nasri; Aguero