Today’s UEFA Champions League matches featured what many called the major tie of this round between Barcelona and Manchester City. Football fans worldwide circled the date on their calendar for what was sure to be an exciting and tense match but unfortunately neither match today featured all that much drama or intrigue.
Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona
This match went as most pundits and fans thought it would, Manchester City would sit back and absorb the Barcelona pressure then look to attack on the counter. The plan was working for City as they defended extremely well for the first half but a Jesus Navas turnover at the halfway line allowed Messi to run free to a through ball owards Joe Hart’s goal. City defender Martin Demichelis denied Messi a clear goalscoring opportunity with a tackle right on the edge of the box to earn a red. To make matters worse, the referee had judged the tackle to be inside the box and granted Barcelona a penalty which Messi finished with ease.
Playing with a man down, City rose to the occasion and threatened the Barcelona goal on several occasions with the finest chance falling to David Silva who forced a smart save from Victor Valdes. All their efforts went to waste however as Danny Alves finished off a Barcelona attack with a lovely finish to make the score 2-0 and effectively end the tie. City can score goals in bunches but to overturn a two goal differential in the Nou Camp is nearly impossible. Barcelona likely move on to the next round and City is left to wonder what could have been had they scored just one more goal at Bayern Munich to finish top of their group.
Paris St. Germain 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen
What was always going to be a very tough task for Bayer Leverkusen to advance to the round of sixteen has become downright impossible after they were thrashed at home by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG. After conceding an early goal to midfielder Blaise Matuidi, Leverkusen went on to collapse in a major way by conceding a penalty and two further goals. Former Newcastle man Yohan Cabaye got his first taste of Champions League football in a PSG shirt and found that life is a little sweeter when you leave Tyneside. The four goal differential will allow PSG to rest most of their stars for the second leg in Paris and will allow them to focus on defending their domestic league title.
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