Manchester City will be stronger for Barcelona defeat, declares Samir Nasri after Champions League exit

City will turn their attention to the Premier League

Samir Nasri believes Manchester City will emerge a stronger team from their disappointment in Barcelona.

City bowed out of the Champions League as they slipped to a 4-1 aggregate defeat to the Spanish champions with a 2-1 loss at the Nou Camp.

City did rise to the occasion and applied pressure as they sought to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit, but a 67th-minute strike from the brilliant Lionel Messi effectively ended their challenge.

They battled on, even after the sending off of Pablo Zabaleta in the 78th minute, but Vincent Kompany's late equaliser proved mere consolation and was immediately cancelled out by Dani Alves in the last minute.

Barca were the better side but City can take encouragement from their performance and, after premature exits at the group stage in the past two seasons, progress is being made.

France playmaker Nasri said: "I think we played a good game. I think we did everything we could.

"We can have regrets about the first leg - it is in the first leg we lost it - but here we did everything.

"I think this defeat is going to be good for us in the future.

"This is where you get experience and get much stronger as a team and a group. Next year our target is to be up there with the best."

City were aggrieved not to have been awarded a penalty in the second half when substitute Edin Dzeko was clipped by Gerard Pique.

To compound matters, Zabaleta was dismissed for taking his complaints too far in the protests that followed.

Those incidents, however, could be considered to have redressed the balance somewhat after Barca were also denied a penalty and had a goal harshly disallowed for offside in the first half.

With the red card, refereeing controversies and Barcelona goalscorers being the same, the match mirrored the first leg in many ways.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini could only watch from the stands as he began his touchline ban for his outspoken attack on the referee in Manchester last month.

Nasri said: "Once again, we did not have any help from the officials so it is a little bit difficult.

"But our only regret is we didn't play the first leg like we did here.

"In the first leg if we had attacked them from the start, pressed them like we did here we could have had better chance to go through."

City may have won the Capital One Cup earlier this month but, after Sunday's FA Cup loss to Wigan, they have now gone out of two other competitions in the past four days.

They now face a catch-up job in the Barclays Premier League having fallen nine points behind leaders Chelsea while concentrating on cup football over the past three weeks.

Nasri, 26, said: "We don't have a choice. Now our target is to win the league.

"I think here we showed we have the quality to be up there with the best teams in Europe.

"We came here to play. I don't think you are going to see that many teams come to Camp Nou and have that much possession, that many attempts on target.

"It is a good thing for us. It is important now to finish the season well and win the league."

City are back in action at Hull at midday on Saturday.

They are awaiting an update on the injury sustained by top scorer Sergio Aguero in the first half at the Nou Camp.

The Argentina striker felt a twinge in his hamstring early in the match and, having only recently returned from a five-game lay-off with problems in that muscle, was withdrawn at half-time.

Assistant manager Ruben Cousillas, who called the shots on the touchline in Pellegrini's absence, said the move was precautionary.

He said: "Apparently it is nothing serious, he felt some kind of pain in his muscle.

"It is more a precaution, but we are doing some tests to assess it.

"It will be up to the medical staff who determine the extent of the injury, so we cannot speculate about this."

PA

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn