Barcelona were dominated and outclassed by former boss Pep Guardiola’s men as they lost to Manchester City 3-1. After taking an early lead on a Lionel Messi goal, Barca could not find control in the match as they were overrun by City’s high pressing. Individual errors from Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets stand out, but the entire team played below par.
The game was even to start the first half, Barcelona even struggled at times. But a perfect counter attack goal led my Messi and Neymar put Barca ahead. Messi strung a pass to Neymar on the left.
Barca proceeded to dominate the match after that. They were able to break through City’s midfield easily, but could not add to their lead.
City capitalized on a mistake from Sergi Roberto to equalize. Roberto’s pass to Sergio Busquets was wide and taken by Sergio Agüero. Agüero passed it to Raheem Sterling who passed it across the face of goal for İlkay Gündoğan who only had to tap it in.
Barca almost gave up a second goal after another Roberto mistake. Guardiola’s men had an opportunity, but Fernandinho’s chance went just wide of the net.
City had another great chance to score again after the break. Another Roberto mistake, along with a Busquets error. Sterling took a bad touch and it was deflected.
Busquets, who had perhaps one of his worst ever games in a Barca shirt, gave away a foul near the edge of the area.
Kevin De Bruyne lifted one just over the wall past Ter Stegen to give City the lead. Ter Stegen got a hand to it but could not stop it from going by him.
Barcelona could not gain control at all in the second half. Manchester City continued to create plenty of chances, but couldn’t extend their lead.
Barcelona had their best chance of the half on another counter attack. Luis Suárez laid one off for André Gomes, but the Portuguese was unlucky as he hit the crossbar.
Barcelona’s midfield, which looked unstoppable at times in the first half, completely collapsed after City’s first goal, and more so after their second. Any control Barca may have had was gone.
City scored their third on another Gündoğan goal. After a brilliant De Bruyne through ball to Jesus Navas, who crossed into rhe box. The ball deflected off of Aguero and the ball landed right in front of Gündoğan, who scored his second of the night for a brace. There were calls from Barca to call a handball on Aguero, but it fell on deaf ears.
While still on top of the group, Barca will have many things to adjust before going to face Sevilla on the weekend.
Man City: Caballero | Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov | Fernandinho (Fernando) | Sterling (Navas), Silva, Gundogan, De Bruyne (Nolito) | Agüero
Goals: Gundogan (39', 74'), De Bruyne (51')
Barcelona: Ter Stegen | Roberto, Mascherano, Umtiti, Digne | Rakitic (Arda), Busquets, Gomes (Rafinha) | Messi, Suárez, Neymar
Goal: Messi (21')