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The striker says Lionel Messi's controversial penalty "killed" his side because up until that point the Catalans had only controlled the game in safe areas of the pitch

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By Alvaro Jimenez

Alvaro Negredo insists Barcelona had not been troubling the Manchester City defence until they were awarded their controversial penalty.

Barcelona won 2-0 in the Champions Legaue last-16 first-leg clash at the Etihad Stadium after Martin Demichelis was sent off for bringing down Lionel Messi, despite suggestions the decisive contact was made outside the penalty area.

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Messi scored the breakthrough from the spot nine minutes into the second half and Dani Alves added an important second in the final minute, but Negredo maintains City had coped well with their opponents until Demichelis' red card.

"It's a hard defeat because that goal killed us," he told Goal. "We did a great job and had many chances but in the end we lost 2-0.
 
"We had more attempts, they only had a Xavi shot in the first half, they controlled the game but in areas that did not cause us problems. We are happy about how we played, but that penalty and goal changed everything.
 
"We will go to Camp Nou to fight, even though we know it is so difficult. We must score early, withstand the pressure and not concede, but it will be very difficult."

The two teams meet for the second leg in Barcelona on March 12, and Negredo's team-mate, Jesus Navas, also insisted that they will fight until the end.
 
"We have got great players to put up a fight in the second leg and we will try to play a good game at Camp Nou, to make it uncomfortable for them."

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