Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Manchester City, Pep Guardiola get revenge on Barcelona with stunning win

Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring Manchester City's equalizer.
"We will have to be almost perfect to beat Barcelona," Pep Guardiola mused in typically intense fashion in his pre-match interview.

And, despite Manchester City's defensive frailties being laid bare again at times, this was indeed a near-perfect performance.
Ilkay Gundogan's brace and a stunning Kevin De Bruyne free-kick canceled out Lionel Messi's opener to give City and Guardiola a famous win.
"Obviously it was a big game for us, we knew we were under pressure," man of the match De Bruyne told BT Sport after the match.
"The beginning was difficult, we made a few mistakes but the second half we were very good. I don't think Barcelona had many chances and we deserved the win."
With several names missing, most notably Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Jordi Albla, there was a sense of expectation in the evening Manchester air that this could be City's night.
Buoyed by a promising opening 15 minutes at the Nou Camp a fortnight ago, Guardiola's side again began at breakneck speed.
Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling were relentless in their hassling and harrying, constantly buzzing around the Barcelona defense and looking for gaps to open up or endeavoring to create one themselves.
Left-back Lucas Digne somehow escaped an early booking for a cynical foul on Sterling as he looked to break.
Aguero then brilliantly wriggled free of the clutches of Ivan Rakitic and Digne, before finding Sterling on the edge of the area.
The 21-year-old effortlessly danced past one challenge, then went down under a clumsy tackle from Samuel Umtiti.
Referee Viktor Kassai blew his whistle immediately but, instead of pointing to the penalty spot, booked Sterling for diving, despite clear contact from the French defender.

With Manchester City dominant for the opening 20 minutes, anything but a Barcelona goal looked likely.
However, reminiscent of the reverse fixture two weeks ago, despite all that early City pressure, it was Barcelona which took the lead.