Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City: Messi stars as Catalonians progress to the quarter-finals

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was in irresistible form against Manchester City, with the Argentine setting up the only goal of the game, and putting in a fantastic performance to help send the Spaniards through into the Champions League quarter-finals, reports BBC Sport.

Manchester City had a 2-1 deficit to overturn from their first leg defeat at the Etihad stadium, but were on the backfoot almost straight from the off against Barcelona. Lionel Messi was running rings around the opposition, and his fellow attackers Luis Suarez and Neymar were tearing the City defence to pieces.

Neymar hit the woodwork in the first-half, capitalising on a mistake from Vincent Kompany, before Lionel Messi set up Barcelona’s opener. The 27-year-old dribbled the ball through the middle, biding his time to curl a pass for the onrushing Ivan Rakitic, who chested the ball and stabbed over City ’keeper Joe Hart to put Barca in the lead after half an hour.

The Spaniards were wasteful over the entire 90 minutes, and had the Sky Blues on the ropes on many occasions. After the break, Hart kept City in the game with a spell of fantastic saves to keep Barcelona’s attackers quiet.

The Premier League holders almost threatened a late comeback when Sergio Aguero was awarded a contentious penalty in the second-half, but his spot-kick was comfortably saved and Barcelona ran out worthy winners in the end.

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