In what many said was an expected result, Lionel Messi and his crew at Barcelona once again proved why they are one of the highly favoured teams in the current Champions League, as Barca win the second leg of their match against Manchester City 1-0.
Messi relentlessly led his teammates, as they continually controlled the game right from the opening minute. However, it was Ivan Rakitic who made the winning goal for Barcelona of the pass from the former 36 minutes into the game.
From there, Barca went on to put the pressure even more on City. Messi adeptly handled the ball as he went past Manchester City midfielder James Milner. Barcelona nearly had a second goal before halftime, after Luis Suarez was able to get through City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart, only for his shot to hit and bounce off from the post.
By the opening of the second half, Barcelona was once again pressing hard. At this point, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini decided to change tactics and replaced Samir Nasri with Jesus Navas. He also put Yaya Toure. These moves helped create an opening, as Navas managed to get into the byline. However, there was no available player to receive his pass.
To their credit, Manchester City gallantly continued with their defensive efforts throughout the game, preventing Barcelona from securing another goal. Goalkeeper Hart managed to stave off Neymar’s attempts at a goal, as well as one coming from Suarez.
The win firmly puts Barcelona into the quarterfinals with a 3-1 aggregate score, thanks to the 2-1 win they had in the first leg. On the other hand, Manchester City joins the other English teams Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool in bowing out of the Champions League. The loss also cast doubts on manager Pellegrini’s future with the team.