FC Barcelona defied their critics once again last night as they dumped Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City out of the Champions League competition.
The game ended 2-1 to Barcelona with the Catalan team’s goals coming from Messi and Alves. City’s goal came from Vincent Kompany.
Martino said after the match that “criticism motivates his players” and it appeared to be the case. However, it took Messi 67 minutes to score the opener in a tight game which saw Barcelona get back to what they’re good at – winning.
Vincent Kompany then score a late equaliser but Dani Alves added to Barcelona’s win with an effort in the 91st minute to seal the deal for Barça and progress to the next round.
Messi said after the match that “We are once again the Barca we want to be,” and he was right. Messi said that the tie was never in danger of being lost and that the Catalans controlled the game well before his goal.
Speaking on the club’s official website, Messi said:
“The performance has nothing to do with the matches we didn’t win. We know that we didn’t do the things we were supposed to do.
“La Liga isn’t lost because there are still a lot (of games) left.”
FC Barcelona may not be favourites this year to win the Champions League, but they proved last night that they are still a force to be “reckoned with”.
French official Stéphane Lannoy gave a few shocking decisions last night and failed to award clear penalties to both sides while his assistant appeared to have wrongly judged Neymar to be in an offside position in the first half. Pablo Zabaleta was also given his marching orders with 15 minutes to go for two yellow cards.
Meanwhile, Manuel Pellegrini had to sit in the stands for his remarks against Swedish ref Jonas Eriksson and sat between Brian Marwood and Txiki Begiristain, praying for a miracle that never happened.