Barcelona cruise through as City crash out of the UCL

Lionel Messi and Barcelona turned on the style to dump Manchester City and their inspired goalkeeper Joe Hart out of the Champions League. It was thanks to Hart’s heroics that Barcelona could manage only a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp.

Ivan Rakitic finished off a sublime move for the only goal of the game just after the half hour mark as Barcelona dominated for long spells.

Joe Hart made a series of superb saves to keep City in the tie, but Sergio Aguero spurned a late lifeline for the visitors as he missed a penalty 13 minutes from time.

City were hoping to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago, but could have been even further behind after just six minutes when Neymar’s shot hit the inside of the post but somehow stayed out.

Hart was forced to save from Lionel Messi shortly afterwards after some slick Barcelona play on the edge of the penalty area involving Neymar and Andres Iniesta left the City defence chasing shadows.

Messi then sent a free-kick from distance dipping just over the crossbar, before Aleksandar Kolarov  forced a save from Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal with a low shot.

 

But Barcelona were deservedly in front just after the half hour mark when a pacey counter attack move ended with Messi crossing from the right for the incoming Rakitic who calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Hart.

It was almost 2-0 just before the break when Neymar found Luis Suarez with a neat through ball, but Uruguayan’s flick came back off the bar and was cleared away to safety.

City’s only chance of a lifeline came with a penalty in the 78th minute, but Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved Sergio Aguero’s spot-kick. City has now lost to Barcelona at this stage of the competition for two years in a row, and is still waiting to make its first appearance in the final eight of Europe’s top elight tournament.

Meanwhile, in the other game played,Juventus eased into the quarter-final with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in Germany qualifying 5-1 on aggregate.

 

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