Pep Guardiola Masterminds Manchester City Victory Over Barcelona

Manchester City looks to have grown into the outfit Sheikh Mansour envisioned it to be when he heavily invested in the club eight years ago.

The English side has won all domestic trophies during that period but failed to truly challenge in Europe and win the coveted Champions League.

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Inexperience in the competition plauged the team as well as a number of harsh fixtures that saw them face Spanish giants Barcelona.

Barcelona had won all five of the previous meetings between the two sides, knocking City out of the competition in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Barcelona were finally given a taste of their own medicine as Manchester City beat them at their own game, overcoming the Spanish outfit at the sixth time of asking.

A pulsating night at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday saw Pep Guardiola mastermind a 3 – 1 victory over his former team – Manchester City’s biggest Champions League victory.

Beaten 4 – 0 at Camp Nou two weeks ago, not many viewers would have given City a chance after they fell behind to a Lionel Messi goal at the 21st minute.

City levelled the game late in the first half following an error from makeshift right-back Sergi Roberto allowing Raheem Sterling to set up Ilkay Gundogan in the 39th-minute.

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Barcelona looked to not have gotten their heads in the game early in the second-half as they gave away a freekick which was outrightly dispatched by Kevin De Bruyne for the lead.

Otamendi, Aguero and Sterling were guilty of not taking their chances as City outplayed Barcelona for most of the second half.

The team almost paid a hefty price for not taking their chances as an error from John Stones unleashed Luis Suarez who beat one defender and squared the ball to Sergi Roberto who rattled the cross bar from 15 yards.

Barcelona found it hard to carve out any other opportunity afterwards with the world’s best attacking trio nowhere to be found.

City finally got their third goal in the 74th minute through Gundogan following Aguero’s failure to convert a Jesus Navas cross. Gundogan simply tapped-in from close range for his brace and wheeled away with his hands in the air as the Etihad went wild.

Manchester City

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Speaking after the match, Guardiola commended his team’s effort after getting back into the game.

”They had an amazing 30 minutes. We had a lot of problems, but our first goal helped us a lot.

”In the second half we created a lot of counter-attacks. I am so happy for the guys. It is the first time we have beaten the best team in the world.”

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said his team never recovered their composure after City’s equaliser.

Hear him:

”The first few minutes we played really well. It’s a shame that after the error we made for the first goal, we had a bad time.

”When you concede a goal like that, it’s normal that you go through a bad period after that. In the second half we hoped to continue dominating the game, but it couldn’t be.

”They have top-quality players and we couldn’t control the game in the same way. The result reflects that.”

Manchester City will be looking to build on this victory after coming off a six-game winless streak in all competitions – a record for Pep Guardiola.