Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and Neymar completed the scoring for Barcelona tonight as Luis Enrique’s men humiliate Pep Guardiola on his return home.
One-sided affair was pretty much caused by Claudio Bravo’s second-half red card which changed the game entirely.
Here is our full match report:
La Liga champions Barcelona headed into the international break on the back of the overwhelming 4-3 defeat at Celta Vigo which was a timely warning for Luis Enrique’s men.
The Catalans returned from the break with a bang as they recorded a compelling 4-0 victory over Deportivo La Coruna as a warm-up for Manchester City. Seven wins in last ten matches across all competitions is a decent tally for Barcelona, who welcomed their Premier League rivals top of the Group C in the Champions League.
Manchester City’s perfect record of ten consecutive triumph across competitions was ended by Celtic with the 3-3 Champions League draw and the Citizens have been unable to get back to winning ways since.
The 2-0 defeat at Tottenham followed prior to the international break, while Pep Guardiola’s mentor Ronald Koeman held his apprentice for a 1-1 draw against Everton last time out. The Citizens are on a downhill run and the things got increasingly worrying with their Wednesday’s slump at Camp Nou.
Camp Nou crowd witnessed somewhat uneventful first 45 minutes with both Barcelona and Manchester City lacking the edge in the final third of the final, Barcelona in particular.
We did not wait too long for the deadlock to be broken however, as Lionel Messi opened the scoring after 17 minutes. The Argentine wizard pounced on a loose ball inside the box with Manchester City defenders standing like statues to allow Messi to run freely through the box and around Claudio Bravo, who was easily beaten by his former teammate.
Manchester City came to life after the goal, causing a couple of problems for Barcelona.
Citizens had their best chance after 38 minutes of play when Ilkay Gundogan swirled around the defenders and attempted to beat the keeper with a close-range shot, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen pulled a great save to keep his net still.
Citizens wasted another good chance in the dying moments of the first half as John Stones produced a quality header which went just wide of the right post.
It was Luis Suarez who closed the first half however whose inside the box low drive towards the middle of the goal was successfully stopped by Claudio Bravo.
Much to the contrast of the first 45 minutes, the second half brought plenty of excitement to the anticipating crowd.
Former Barca goalkeeper bravo made sure to lift the spirits after 53 minutes when he went outside his area to stop a counterattack, but ended up getting dismissed for handling the ball on purpose well outside the box.
Pep Guardiola had no choice but to change Zabaleta for Willie Caballero in a match-defining moment which happened just six minutes inside the second half.
Ten minutes later Barcelona used their numerical advantage with Leo Messi scoring from the edge of the box with a precise low drive inside the right post.
Only eight minutes after his second goal in the game, the Argentine wizard completed his hat-trick as he latched on Luis Suarez’s assist inside the box to calmly place it into the left side of the net for a comfortable 3-0 cushion against indisposed visitors.
Pep Guardiola’s men attempted to get back into the game through Aleksandar Kolarov who produced a strong free kick just outside the area, but ter Stegen frustrated the Serbian with his excellent save.
The numerical balance was restored after 73 minutes when Jeremy Mathiey made a reckless challenge and a totally unnecessary one leaving referee Milorad Mazic with no choice but to show him the red card.
Manchester City were however well on the ground to get back up and they ultimately ended up conceding once more through Neymar. Before his 89th-minute goal, the Brazilian wasted a fine chance from the penalty spot as his build-up took the better of him and allowed Caballero to save the attempt from the white spot.
Neymar made amends with an excellent finish from inside the box to set the final score to 4-0. Pep Guardiola was given a frustrating welcome back to Camp Nou as his team are now on a four-match winless run.
- Man City have gone 4 matches without a win
- Barcelona won their last 5 encounters with Man City
- Messi scored 12 goals in his last 8 Champions League matches
- Barcelona have scored 13 goals in three UCL games this season
- Man City (11) had only one goal attempt less than Barcelona (12) tonight
BARCELONA: ter Stegen 7 – Mascherano 6.5, Pique 6.5 (Mathieu 5), Umtiti 7, Alba 6 (Digne 6.5) – Rakitic 7, Busquets 7, Iniesta 7.5 (Gomes 6.5) – Suarez 7, Messi 8.5, Neymar 7.5.
Unused subs: Rafinha, Masip, Paco, Turan
MAN CITY: Bravo 5 – Zabaleta 6 (Caballero 6.5), Otamendi 5.5, Stones 6.5, Kolarov 7 – Gundogan 6.5 (Aguero 6), Fernandinho 6.5, Silva 6.5 – Sterling 6.5, De Bruyne 6, Nolito 6 (Clichy 6.5).
Unused subs: Maffeo, Navas, Fernando, Sane
REFEREE: Milorad Mazic
Other results this evening
Arsenal 6-0 Ludogorets
Bayern Munich 4-0 PSV
Celtic 0-2 B. Monchengladbach
Dynamo Kiev 0-2 Benfica
FK Rostov 0-1 Atletico Madrid
Napoli 2-3 Besiktas
PSG 3-0 Basel