“We have defeated the best team in the world”, is the statement that Pep Guardiola said after the game. And in what manner have they.
Manchester City could at least score two more goals and completely demolish Catalonian team. Home team players were flying in some parts of the game, especially in the second half. This is a huge win for the City and could be something that will finally give them courage, as they have won for the first time against Barcelona in six matches.
The start of the game didn’t indicate this turn of events. Barcelona was more dominant, although City had been damaged when referee Victor Kassai did not show to the penalty in the 11th minute of the game when an obvious foul was made on Sterling, and instead, he had shown a yellow card to the English forward because of alleged simulation. Young player and whole stadium were furious.
From that time City was more open and slowly they were taking over the possession of the ball, but in the 21st minute, schoolbook counter-attack was made by Barcelona attacking duo. Messi sent high cross ball toward Neymar who have received on own half, but went down the plank trough the opposite goal, he waited for Messi to arrive, trough the middle, passed him the ball on the edge of the box, and Argentinian came few meters in the box, shots down low to the left bottom corner of the goal. 0:1.
After this goal, Manchester City came more aggressively and offensively, towards visitors goal, but yet again Barcelona had a chance. Seven minutes after the first goal, Neymar had one of his characteristical performances with his zig-zag work, and he fires one into the left top corner of the goal, but Caballero saves fantastic, diverting the ball into the corner kick.
This pushed the home team forward, after this chance, they started playing better.
The referee once again damaged Manchester, after he showed Neymar just a yellow card after his reckless challenge, and he could reach for the red. If it were someone else, we are pretty sure that that would be the final outcome.
Home team pushed Barcelona back line whole time, and it finally snapped in 39th minute, after mistake when Aguero stole the ball in front of the box, passed to Sterling who ran into open space on the right side of the box, sent low ball and on the far post Gundogan, in full speed smashed into net.
Just two minutes later, a chance for City to take the lead, but after David Silva passed the ball to Fernandinho, Brazilian sends the ball wide from inside the box. This was just a beginning of a Manchester City’s storm.
Quickly after this, not so good referee Kasai blew the whistle for the end of the first halftime.
Ferociously Machester started the second one. First Sterling misses for few inches, shot from inside the box after Aguero passed him the ball, then Aguero shots from the edge of the box, the ball passes near the right post.
51st minute of the game, Sergio Busquets commits a foul. Free kick from some twenty meters, just a little bit right from the middle of the goal. Kevin de Bryne smashes the ball, to the Ter Stegen’s side, and the ball goes above helpless goalkeeper, who manages to touch it with the top of his fingers. Etihad stadium goes wild, City leads.
Now they dictate the tempo and they control the game.
The city was much better in this part of the game, but next real chance was Barcelona’s. After Josh Stones clumsy move in front of the box, when he lost the ball, the ball went from Messi to Andre Silva who shoots from the edge of the box, right trough the middle, but ball finishes on the crossbar ! That could be a shocker for home fans.
Then in the counter-attack, de Bryne receives the ball on the edge of the box, smashes it again to the right top corner of Ter Stegen’s goal, but he hits the post !
Amazing two minutes on both sides.
Then in 74th minute Kevin de Bryne receives the ball on the right side near the box, centers, the ball goes to Aguero who can’t make a shot, he then passes the ball back with his chests to Gundogan, who again in full speed from some seven meters in the box scores again.
Barcelona is in knock down.
Afterward, just one more chance worth mentioning when Aguero, after assists from David Silva missed sending the ball near the left post.
City got hold on his first victory after six games against Barca, they are full of confidence, and are in a much better mood after this game.
Barca is in little crisis, after unconvincing performance against Granada in La Liga, this game must have turned on the red lamp in their locker room.
Both of these team have qualified for the second round, it is just a matter of who will win this group. Barcelona is in a better position, as they have 9 points, two more than Machester City.
Man of the match is Kevin de Bryne. One goal, one assist, many chances, many shots, and passes, very well in the offensive plays, Belgian forward had a good game. If he keeps up like this, City is going to have a much more efficient attack. Next to him is double scorer Ilkay Gundogan, who was not so dominant on field, but was there when it was crucial.
Nice game at Etihad stadium, City dominated, while Barca was lucky not to concede couple more goals.