Manchester City hosted Barcelona on Tuesday night as the UEFA Champions League got back underway after its winter break.
After a goalless first half, City defender Martin Demichelis was shown a straight red card early in the second half for taking down Leo Messi when through on goal. Messi scored the ensuing spot-kick, with Dani Alves adding a last-minute second to leave the final score at 2-0 to Barcelona.
|Man City Ratings|
Quick first-half analysis:
Barcelona started with their expected domination of possession, but City fielded Navas and Kolarov as deep, defensive wingers and filtered everything central. In that area, Toure and Fernandinho have been excellent at closing off spaces and making it difficult for Barca to create anything of note with their quick passing.
Iniesta's quick feet and a couple of shots from range aside, City have not really had too much to worry about as yet.
The home side came into the game more as an attacking force as the half wore on, with both Yaya Toure's powerful runs from deep and an overload down the right flank looking like potential avenues to create chances for Negredo.
So far he's been off target with two presentable headers though and he'll hope to fare better in front of goal if he gets more service after the break.
Quick second-half analysis:
City started on the front foot but their attacking impetus was wiped out with Demichelis' red card. The foul might have been just outside the box but the card was unarguably the right call.
With one man less it was inevitable they would sit back until later on in the game, and although Barcelona opened the home side up two or three times in the 10 minutes after the penalty, they never really took advantage of City's 10 men.
Constant pressure in the final third and keeping City chasing the game was their preferred route to goal and—in spite of an incorrectly disallowed offside goal—City deserve credit for keeping Barcelona at bay thereafter.
In the final minutes of the game the home side went in search of an equaliser and had one or two half-decent chances, but Alves' late strike has likely ended the tie.
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