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UEFA Champions League
March 12, 2014
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: S. Lannoy
• Attendance: 85957
L. Messi 67'
Dani Alves 90'+
Barcelona win Aggregate 4 - 1
V. Kompany 89'
That's all that we have time for from Camp Nou, we hope that you enjoyed our live coverage of Barcelona's tight 2-1 win over Man City, which sends the hosts into the quarter finals of the Champions League yet again. I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you again next time.
Goals from Lionel Messi and Dani Alves were enough for the hosts, but bad refereeing will take all of the headlines, due to several dubious offside and penalty decisions. Kompany clawed back a goal for the ten men of the Citizens, but in the end, the Blaugrana proved strong enough to rally once more.
FULL TIME! Barcelona win 2-1 in Camp Nou, with Dani Alves smashing home an effort in stoppage time to hand Martino an important win. The hosts progress into the next round of the Champions League, with Man City crashing out despite a spirited performance.
90' + 1'
AssistAndrés Iniesta Luján
90' + 1'
GOOOOOOAL! DANI ALVES HAS DONE IT AGAIN! The Brazilian has fired Barcelona back ahead in stoppage time, as he did in the first leg, smashing home an Iniesta cut-back from close range! There was nothing Hart could do there, with Milner unable to stop Alves' effort from his position on the goalline.
There have been two minutes of stoppage time awarded at the end of the second half.
GOOOOOOAL! KOMPANY TURNS HOME THE CORNER DELIVERY! There are questions of offside, but City have a goal back! He's deserved a goal for his efforts at the heart of the travelling defence, and that should mean that Pellegrini's men leave Camp Nou with a decent result.
Barcelona are keeping the ball well, and Man City are no longer willing chasers. Messi is still looking for more goals, as another tonight will put him level with Gerd Muller, in terms of goals scored in all European competitions. With eight more, which obviously won't come tonight, the Argentine will equal Raul's record.
GREAT SAVE! Barca are patient, working the ball around the edge of the box, before Fabregas is fed the ball on the left hand side. The former Arsenal midfielder doesn't strike across his effort properly, but Hart is on hand to palm the drive behind regardless. A good showing from the England international keeper tonight.
Excellent mopping up from Kompany, who tackles Messi well, before driving into midfield, forcing his team forward. He's not been top quality throughout the match, but he's showing good leadership qualities, aided by the tireless Fernandinho. The Brazilian is once again proving to be a shrewd acquisition from Shakhtar.
INIESTA! DANI ALVES! The Brazilian breaks down the right hand side, before cutting the ball back to Iniesta, who is sat in a pocket of space in the penalty area. Instead of shooting, the Spaniard tries to lay the ball into the path of the overlapping Alves, but the right-back miscontrols and permits City to win a goal-kick.
We're into the final ten minutes, and City are having to sit back and absorb the pressure, due to Zabaleta's dismissal. Dzeko has had a good impact on this game, acting as a focal point and causing Pique a few problems, but any chance of the Citizens winning back the game's momentum has disappeared along with their Argentine right-back.
This referee has been laughable, his decisions have been flawed throughout the game, a shame given that this game has been so enthralling. The Man City players and bench are utterly flummoxed as to how the referee has missed that penalty decision, but Martino won't be lending them any sympathy after Messi wasn't awarded a spot-kick in the first half.
RED CARD! That's a red card for Zabaleta, who is absolutely incensed that Man City weren't awarded a penalty for Pique's clear foul on Dzeko! He grabs the referee, and shouts in his face, but the Argentine defender definitely has a valid point!
Neymar receives a few whistles, after giving away possession to Fernandinho, with the Brazilian failing to have too much of a second half impact. Dzeko sprints into the penalty, before clearly being fouled by Pique, but the referee gives nothing!
XAVI! The Spain international takes plenty of time over a free-kick from 25 yards, but Hart's wall does its job, standing tall to absorb the strike. The result seems like a foregone conclusion now, although City continue to try and press high up the field.
Jesús Navas González
Yellow CardVincent Kompany
Under 20 minutes left to play, and Pellegrini has chosen to shake things up once again, throwing on Negredo, who gets a rather negative reception in Camp Nou. No doubt that the Chilean coach will opt to rest his key players now, given that this tie is presumably beyond the Premier League side's grasp.
XAVI! Smart stop by Hart, who gets down well to his left hand side to palm a strong effort behind for a corner, denying the Barca captain. It took a slight deflection on the way through, and was travelling at pace, making it a very good save from the England international.
MESSI! Iniesta releases Alba down the left flank, before the Spanish full-back squares the ball into the near post area for Messi. The Argentina international gets there, but can only turn the ball wide of the target, despite claiming that Lescott got the last touch.
Lescott has looked out of place all evening, and was at fault for Messi's opener too. The English defender manages to get his wires entirely crossed, being unable to clear the ball out from underneath his feet, allowing Messi to have a chance that he was never going to miss. Camp Nou is now at ease.
GOOOOOAL! LIONEL MESSI OPENS THE SCORING AT CAMP NOU TO MAKE IT 1-0! Lescott bundles Messi to the ground once again, but the referee doesn't want to have anything to do with it. It doesn't matter however, as moments later the Argentine gets in behind City's lines, before clipping a delicate finish into the far corner!
Good defensive header from Lescott! Barcelona whip a free-kick in from a dangerous position, 25 yards out from goal, but the former Everton defender does well to meet the ball ahead of the lurking Pique. Plenty of substitutes are warming up on the touchlines now.
The home fans are beginning to rally behind their side once again, urging Blaugrana on with just under half an hour left to play. The hosts are starting to stroke the ball around with confidence, but under Martino there is always the fear for opposition sides that comfortable possession can be turned into driving runs forward within a few seconds.
Fantastic tackle from Pique! Fernandinho finds himself behind enemy lines, capitalising on a deflection off Mascherano deep in the Barca penalty area, but a long Pique leg is on hand to clear the ball off the foot of the Brazilian midfielder as he looked to fire an effort towards goal from close-range.
MESSI! He drags his effort wide of the post from 20 yards out! He drives into a huge pocket of space in front of the 18-yard-box, before trying to squeeze the ball in between several defenders' legs. He manages to penetrate City's lines, but sees his low drive thud into the advertisements behind the goal.
NASRI! That's way, way wide! Pique does well to head away Kolarov's deep cross, and the France international tries to strike the clearance on the volley. It nearly heads into orbit, and Valdes doesn't need to be concerned by that effort whatsoever.
Yaya Toure is penalised for a foul on Iniesta, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that tackle! The Ivory Coast international uses his considerable frame to ease Iniesta off the ball, taking it cleanly from him, but the referee isn't keen to allow any type of physical battle. The travelling supporters go ballistic.
MILNER! The City midfielder pops up in a pocket of space just inside the Barca penalty area, but his attempted shot is blocked well. Plenty more chances in this second half, after a first 45 minutes that was more carefully navigated.
Yellow CardCesc Fàbregas
ZABALETA! Another brilliant chance! Kolarov cuts the ball to the back post from wide on the left, before the ball is deflected to Zabaleta in acres of space at the back post. The Argentine tries to curl the ball across goal and inside the far post, but the ball arrows wide of the upright! Another chance goes begging.
FABREGAS! Good, brave stop from Hart! The England international goalkeeper races out from his line to smother a Neymar cross, with the former Arsenal midfielder sliding in to try and poke the delivery beyond the onrushing City shot-stopper! Hart gets there first, and Fabregas picks up a booking for supposedly going in dangerously.
WHAT A SAVE! Edin Dzeko rises brilliantly, turning a Kolarov cross towards the top left hand corner, but Valdes rises fantastically to athletically palm the ball around the post for a set piece! What a brilliant stop from the Spaniard, who has had almost nothing to do.
MESSI! HE STRIKES THE POST! Lescott gives the ball away needlessly, passing the ball into the path of Neymar, before the Brazilian releases Messi. The Argentine cuts in from the right, beating Lescott all ends up, but can only curl a carefully measured effort onto the foot of the upright!
Jordi Alba looks to have had the wind taken out of him, after being caught in the stomach by a stray elbow from Fernandinho, but he should be okay to continue. The atmosphere is somewhat subdued in the opening stages, matching the cagey football currently on show.
Aguero is withdrawn due to a hamstring problem, and Dzeko isn't a prolific replacement. The Bosnia international hasn't found the net in his last seven games, but tests Valdes early on. The former Wolfsburg striker fires a low drive through a ruck of defenders, but Valdes is equal to it.
We're back underway for the second half, and Barcelona will want to right the wrongs of the first, in which they should have been ahead! Man City have given a good account of themselves in Camp Nou thus far, but 45 minutes is a long time to play against a team blessed with such technical ability and intensity. Aguero, who looked isolated throughout, has been replaced by Edin Dzeko.
There's plenty of life left in this game, but Man City really need to see more from Aguero. He's been isolated, and Pellegrini has the powerful options of Negredo and Dzeko on the bench to hold their own physically against the likes of Pique and Mascherano.
A few half chances for either side, in what has been a generally even game. Man City have picked up three yellow cards, after a bustling and physical start to proceedings, but once things settled down, Pellegrini's men have picked their chances to break forward well. Barcelona are just about in control, with Valdes having very little to do, but there's definitely a sting in the Citizens' tail.
HALF TIME! An open and interesting opening 45 minutes has drawn to an end, but Barcelona should be ahead. A Neymar goal was ruled out for offside, due to the linesman believing that Jordi Alba was offside in the build up, while the home side could also have had a penalty for a Lescott challenge on Messi. Still tight, with Man City needing a mammoth second half performance to turn this tie around.
Only the one minute of stoppage time has been added at the end of an end-to-end first half.
OFF THE LINE! Hart is caught in no man's land, racing off the line to prevent a cross from Neymar, but allows the former Santos man to wriggle free of his challenge and curl an effort towards goal from a tight angle. Fernandinho is on hand to nod the ball off the line.
Barcelona may have seen more of the ball, and genuinely put together a more coherent performance, but Man City are firing a few warning shots towards Valdes' net on the break. Aguero hasn't been particularly prominent, but the constant running of Milner, Nasri and David Silva is causing a few issues.
Five minutes until the break, and Man City are still in with more than a good chance of getting something from this game. Silva is fed the ball in the air inside the penalty area, before releasing the ball to Nasri with a clever in-air backheel. The Frenchman can only steer his volley into the awaiting midriff of Valdes, however.
NEYMAR! The Brazilian manages to get beyond Kolarov with a change of pace, and can only drive a low strike towards the near post from a tight angle. Hart puts out a strong hand to turn the ball behind for a corner, which is cleared at the second attempt, thanks to Lescott.
Iniesta needs treatment, after the diminutive midfielder looked to overextend and possibly take a knock to his knee, and the home fans have every right to be concerned. The Spain international has been brilliant in the first half, and there aren't too many central midfielder options on the bench.
SILVA! After extended possession, which sees Yaya Toure exchange possession several times on the edge of the penalty area, the ball is worked out to the right hand side. Silva cuts in onto his favoured left foot, but can only arrow a strike narrowly over the crossbar.
Whenever Man City manage to get a tough of the ball, the home fans begin to whistle. Such pressure to try and dominate and win the ball back shows what the Blaugrana faithful expect from home fixtures, in which they have fared so well in recent seasons.
The atmosphere has gone a little bit flat, with Barcelona beginning to monopolise possession and boss the game, much to the appreciation of their fans. Man City are holding their shape, repelling many of Barcelona's attacks, or at least forcing them wide. Hart still has only made one testing stop.
Brilliant last ditch challenge from Kolarov! Neymar looks to be through on goal, but the Serbia international manages to muster up enough pace to throw himself into a very forceful challenge, ploughing through the ball and into the Brazilian forward. It's a firm but fair tackle, and Man City survive once again.
Yellow CardPablo Zabaleta
Zabaleta catches Iniesta with a late kick to the midriff, but the Argentine full-back looked to merely misjudge the bounce of the ball. That's yet another yellow card for the away side, and it's looking increasingly likely that Pellegrini's men could end the game with one less player than their adversaries.
LESCOTT! The English defender rises well at the back post, to turn a header into the grasp of Valdes, but the linesman has his flag up on the far side, claiming that the former Wolves central defender was unfairly climbing on his man. Barcelona definitely aren't having things all their own way, Pellegrini's side are forcing a few rushed clearances.
Yaya Toure does just enough to prevent Messi from racing through on goal, with the African Player of the Year using his pace and power to shepherd the ball back through to Hart. Despite being deployed ahead of Fernandinho and Milner, the former Barca man has had to put in plenty of defensive work in the opening 30 minutes.
The game still isn't looking to settle down too much, with both sides looking to break upfield quickly, as opposed to monopolising possession. Despite their let-off, Man City are managing to marshal the edge of their penalty area, holding a high line to try and catch overlapping and penetrating runners offside.
Yellow CardAleksandar Kolarov
Two yellow cards before the half hour mark for Man City, and such bookings might come back to haunt the Citizens later in the game. Kolarov is put into the referee's notebook for blocking off Neymar, and the young Brazilian most certainly has the beating of his Serbian adversary for pace.
Man City haven't been entirely second-best, breaking upfield well and at pace, but Valdes is yet to have too much to contend with. David Silva and Nasri are always available, but Aguero is struggling to find pockets of space to really hurt the hosts. The momentum remains with Barca, but the Premier League outfit looks fairly dangerous on the counter.
Barcelona should probably be ahead in this first half, as Neymar's goal looked to have been wrongly ruled out for offside. Martino's side are doing brilliantly, pegging City back to the edge of their penalty area, and then unlocking the smallest gaps thanks to the ability of Messi and Xavi.
OFFSIDE! It's a lovely move from Barcelona, as Xavi slips Jordi Alba in behind the City defence, and the former Valencia left-back looks to be in line with the visiting defensive line. Alba cuts the ball back square for Neymar to slide into an empty net, but the linesman has his flag up! That's a let-off for City!
MILNER! The England international whips a dangerous cross into the penalty area, but neither Yaya Toure nor Aguero can manage to get on the end of it. The ball flashes across goal, and Valdes isn't happy with his defenders whatsoever, he doesn't believe that Milner should have been permitted to deliver whatsoever.
Man City are continuing to try and press as high up the field as possible, but against Barcelona such a tactic can be fairly risky. Plenty of the hosts' personnel have the ability to comfortably beat a man with a change of pace or a piece of skill, which can cause overloads in other areas of the field, should too many of the pressing players be taken out of the game.
Barcelona have started excellently, this certainly doesn't look like a side who are under pressure or struggling at the moment. The home side have been pushing forward from the very start, with Valdes only forced into action sparingly to mop up loose crosses. Martino is animated on the sideline, but his men are doing him proud thus far.
Great defensive work from Zabaleta yet again! The Argentina international full-back tracks the run of Alba, sliding in to prevent the Spaniard from getting in behind. Moments earlier Messi went on one of his signature dribble, before being half-robbed of the ball by Hart, forcing Kompany to slide in on the goalline to clear the Citizens' lines.
Not much in the way of chances in the opening stages, but the game is certainly very competitive. Plenty of strong challenges are flying in, with Barcelona keen to go from back to front as quickly as possible. While Blaugrana are yet to commit a foul, the away side have already managed seven.
Ten minutes in, and the focus has definitely been on Man City's somewhat physical approach. The home fans are screeching after any challenge from the visiting side, who have their backs to the wall at the moment. The hosts are moving the ball well, and Iniesta and Messi are already going on mazy dribbles.
The fans want a penalty, but the referee waves away the claims! Lescott makes an important block, before Kompany throws himself into an important challenges on Messi, bringing down the Barcelona star but presumably fairly. Man City are being somewhat cynical in the opening stages, keen to stop any promising Blaugrana attacks in their tracks.
The home fans are unhappy once again, as they think that Kompany has brought down Iniesta, as the Albacete-born midfielder looks to shift the ball wonderfully past the outstretched leg of the Belgian defender. It's a tough decision, but the Man City captain looked to get some of the ball. Great, open start to proceedings.
Great intervention from Zabaleta! Neymar breaks down the right hand side with pace, before sliding an intelligent ball behind Kompany, looking for the run of Iniesta on the opposite flank. The Spain international looks to latch onto it, but Zabaleta is alive to the danger, sliding in to scramble the ball clear. Xavi fires the rebound way over the crossbar.
Lescott is penalised for tugging back Messi as the Argentine striker got into full flight, and the home fans vociferously call for the referee to show his first yellow card of the evening. The former Everton defender could be in for a long afternoon, as he doesn't quite have the pace to contend with the Barcelona attacking trio.
Plenty of intent and pressure from the visitors in the first couple of minutes, and the fans are really fuelling the atmosphere. Iniesta goes on a mazy run, before being fouled by Fernandinho, and the home fans jeer the man penalised by the referee. Moments later, Messi tracks back excellently, the Blaugrana faithful are in great voice as a result!
Man City are in their white away kit, with Barcelona in their customary red and blue. Alba does brilliant to track the run of Zabaleta, as Yaya Toure tries to slip the ball in between the former Valencia man and Mascherano, earning him the applause of the home fans early on.
We are underway in the first half! Barcelona flags have been flying for the past ten minutes, making some spectacle, but the real attraction is underway now! The hosts fancy their chances, based on their home form, but Man City have plenty of world-class players, which any team in the world would struggle to defeat. Let's see what this clash of the titans has in store for us!
With Manuel Pellegrini at the helm, however, things don't make brilliant reading. Though the current scenario and squad that Man City possess make statistics somewhat irrelevant, during his time in La Liga, the former Villarreal and Real Madrid boss only managed to accumulate four victories against Barca in 22 attempts. Throw the form book out of the window for tonight, this should be an absolute cracker, so be sure to stick around for kick-off in ten minutes time!
Tonight's hosts were the most prolific at home during the group stages, netting 13 goals in a qualifying stage which saw them come out as victors during all of their games at Camp Nou. Take into account that Barca have only been beaten once in their last 24 home European outings, and Man City have a rather large task on their hands this evening. That being said, the Premier League club have managed to record a club record three away victories during a European campaign this season.
The last time that Barcelona failed to reach the Champions League quarter finals was all the way back in the 2006/2007 season, placing plenty of responsibility on Martino's shoulders to ensure that Blaugrana progress tonight. The odds are on the former Newell's Old Boys manager's side, however, with Barcelona qualifying 32 out of 34 times when the Spanish side have been victorious in the first leg of a round of 16 fixture.
Man City substitutes: Pantilimon, Negredo, Dzeko, Javi Garcia, Jesus Navas, Clichy, Boyata.
Man City starting line-up: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Milner; David Silva, Yaya Toure, Nasri; Aguero.
Barcelona substitutes: Pinto, Pedro, Alexis, Bartra, Song, Adriano, Sergi Roberto.
Barcelona starting line-up: Valdes; Dani Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi; Fabregas; Neymar, Messi.
TEAM NEWS: Pellegrini opts to leave the majority of his Spanish contingent on the bench, with Jesus Navas and Negredo drafted out of the starting line-up. Milner starts deep in midfield with Fernandinho, who scored a screamer for Brazil during the international break, which gives plenty of license for ex-Blaugrana midfielder Yaya Toure to drive forward. He may have been mostly utilised as a central defender during his time at Camp Nou, but the watching Barca faithful can expect to see a different machine altogether this evening. Aguero starts up front, with Nasri and David Silva deployed out wide.
TEAM NEWS: Pedro and Alexis can only make the bench for the home side, despite impressing on international duty recently, with the rest of the line-up being fairly predictable. Mascherano will partner Pique at the heart of the defence, with an intimidating trio of Iniesta, Busquets and Xavi lining up in the midfield third. The likes of Pedro, Alexis, Song and Adriano are available to make an impact from the bench.
A Lionel Messi penalty, and a stoppage time finish from Dani Alves are all that stand between Man City and levelling the aggregate scoreline, with Barcelona recent form acting as encouragement for the travelling Citizens. Defeats to Real Sociedad and Real Valladolid in recent weeks have really piled the pressure on Argentine coach Martino, who needs a result here tonight to inspire the Catalonia-based side to a strong tail-end of the season.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you fully informed with all of the action from Barcelona, as the hosts try to navigate their way to a seventh consecutive Champions League quarter final tonight. Previously in this competition, Man City managed to overturn a two-goal deficit to beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, and Manuel Pelligrini will be hoping for a similar away performance, against a Barcelona outfit who certainly aren't infallible this season.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of one of tonight's Champions League Round of 16 fixtures, as Barcelona host Manchester City, with Blaugrana having a 2-0 advantage in the wake of the first leg triumph at the Etihad. As the La Liga outfit are currently sat in third place in the Spanish top flight, four points off league leaders Real Madrid, tonight represents an opportunity for Tata Martino and his men to appease the Camp Nou faithful.
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