By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City suffered defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League, going down 2-0 after Martin Demichelis was dismissed early in the second-half.
The teams were inseparable in the first 45 minutes, but the sending off made all the difference as first Lionel Messi and then Dani Alves gave the Spaniards the win at the Etihad.
Alvaro Negredo and Vincent Kompany threatened Barcelona’s goal early doors, whilst nice link play between Lionel Messi and Xavi saw the former curl just over.
Negredo went close again with a header that glanced wide, all looked to be going reasonably well for City as they limited their visitor’s play and created the better of the chances.
That all changed within 10 minutes of the restart. Messi was released through having beaten the offside trap and as he advanced towards goal, Demichelis brought him down in a last ditch tackle. The Argentinian was felled, with the defender subsequently handed his marching orders, and Messi climbed back to his feet to convert the spot-kick and make it 1-0.
It was always going to be difficult for City once they went a man down, but they were handed a let off when Gerard Pique’s goal was ruled out for offside.
It looked like they had resolutely restricted the away side to a one goal advantage, but in the dying seconds Alves burst through and poked through Joe Hart’s legs to double their advantage to 2-0 and make a comeback in the return leg look even more difficult.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Navas, Toure, Fernandinho, Kolarov, Silva, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Garcia, Nasri, Jovetic, Dzeko.
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Messi, Sanchez. Subs: Pinto, Bartra, Adriano, Song, Sergi Roberto, Pedro, Neymar.