Manchester City will be stronger for Barcelona defeat, declares Samir Nasri after Champions League exit
City will turn their attention to the Premier League
Thursday 13 March 2014
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."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli scored as many goals for AC Milan on second debut as he did for Liverpool in the Premier League last season
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Jose Mourinho: Chelsea manager has four Guinness World records hanging in his office
Manchester United will pay Monaco £7.2m extra if Anthony Martial scores 25 goals in four years as deal could rise to incredible £58m
Pedro hits outs at Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal for treatment of Victor Valdes
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees