Barcelona vs Manchester City: Andres Iniesta warns Barca plan to make City 'suffer'

Catalan side hold a 2-1 advantage after the first-leg

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The Independent Football

Barcelona have sent an ominous warning to Manchester City that they have no intention of easing up in the Champions League this week.

The Primera Division leaders host the out-of-form English champions in the second leg of their last-16 tie at the Nou Camp on Wednesday already holding a 2-1 advantage.

The Catalan giants outplayed City at the Etihad Stadium three weeks ago and would have won more convincingly had Joe Hart not saved a late penalty.

The odds appear to be stacked against City, who slumped to a dismal defeat at Burnley last weekend, but Barca are insisting the job is not done yet.

Playmaker Andres Iniesta said: "We will have to go out there and play in a very comprehensive manner. We need to have lots of ball possession so they suffer, so they have to follow the ball.

"We need to find those moments to be dangerous, we need to find our superior skills whenever possible. It is about minimising their potential.

"If we do not achieve these objectives, Manchester City can achieve their own objectives. We have to control what is going on at every different moment."

Barcelona face arch-rivals Real Madrid in a crucial top-of-the-table clash on Sunday.

With the team in such an apparently strong position in the City tie, it would be easy for focus to start switching towards the weekend assignment but Iniesta and coach Luis Enrique insist that is not the case.

Iniesta, 30, who spoke along with Enrique at the pre-match press conference, said: "It is true that after tomorrow we have a very important match on Sunday against our main rivals but we are not thinking beyond tomorrow. It is important we are totally concentrated on tomorrow's match.

"We had a good result in the first leg but this is the Champions League. Manchester City have great players that are capable of turning the situation upside down.

"We have to focus on the match and do what we did in the first leg. Manchester City are a team that wants to be in the next round. We need to keep that clear in our minds."

Enrique went further, claiming that he had not even thought about Sunday's visit from Real.

He said: "There is only one game for us, which is the one we're playing tomorrow, I don't care about the rest, I'm not interested."

 

Barca appear to have the measure of City having beaten them twice at the same stage last season - for a 4-1 aggregate win - as well as their latest victory in Manchester.

Enrique says that counts for nothing.

The 44-year-old former Barcelona and Real Madrid player said: "What happened last season has no repercussions. This season we have had a good first leg but with only one game you won't go through to the next round.

"We know we have to have a very good second leg to be capable of getting the better of our rival again."

Enrique, however, believes he knows that to expect from City, who played with two strikers in the first leg.

That was a tactic that appeared to backfire and manager Manuel Pellegrini was criticised, but Enrique thinks he will try the same approach again, albeit with team bolstered by Yaya Toure's return from suspension.

Enrique said: "As far as Toure is concerned, he is one of the key players, but I don't think we'll see any surprises from City or Pellegrini.

"I think they will play with two strikers and we'll see what can hurt them more."

PA

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