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Barça beat City as Juve hold off Dortmund

Manchester City v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Second Round First LegLuis Suarez struck twice on his return to England as Barcelona taught Manchester City another UEFA Champions League lesson with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

But after being swept aside by a masterful Barça display in the first half, City at least gave themselves hope for the second leg of the last-16 tie as Sergio Aguero produced a brilliant reply. City were left hanging on in the latter stages, however, after Gael Clichy was sent off for a second bookable offence and it needed an injury-time penalty save from Joe Hart to prevent further damage.

Lionel Messi had looked like giving the Spanish side a 3-1 lead to take back to the Camp Nou after being felled by Pablo Zabaleta but Hart pushed away his spot-kick and City breathed a sigh of relief. That they might still be in the tie seemed unlikely at the interval, after Barcelona threatened to produce a performance much improved on the one that saw off City at the same stage last year.

Former Liverpool star Suarez had actually looked rusty in the early minutes with a few touches going astray, but he soon put that right in emphatic fashion after 16 minutes. The Uruguayan international’s luck changed when he got his head to a Messi cross and the ball rebounded kindly to him off Vincent Kompany. The angle was tight but he made no mistake with a lethal low strike.

Dzeko, one of City’s livelier players, headed a chance wide for the hosts but it was a rare opening. Barcelona were brilliant in possession and Messi nutmegged David Silva inside his own half to launch a blistering attack, ending with Neymar teeing up Suarez and Hart racing off his line to save.

Suarez’s second came on the half-hour after more trickery from Messi, jinking across the area and finding Neymar, and his low cross was turned in by a sliding Suarez. It might have got even worse for City before the break as Neymar chipped Hart, only for Pablo Zabaleta to clear, and Dani Alves broke away and lobbed a shot on to the bar.

City gave themselves hope when Silva fed Aguero and the Argentinian showed typically nimble footwork to skip out of a challenge from Gerard Pique and lift the ball over Ter Stegen. The crowd finally had something to cheer, but any thoughts of a famous fightback soon had to be moderated as Clichy received a second booking for catching Alves high.

City coped well in his absence and looked to have seen out time when Zabaleta was penalised for bringing down his international colleague Messi. Had Messi scored the resulting spot-kick, the challenge ahead might have been overwhelming, but Hart had the final say by beating away his shot. Messi was quick to the rebound but headed wide and the final whistle went seconds later.


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