Manchester City 0 Barcelona 2: Lionel Messi analysis

We take a closer look at how the Barcelona forward, who won and scored a penalty, performed at the Etihad

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The Independent Football

Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi was the main danger for Manchester City to combat as they faced Barcelona in the Champions League.

Here, we analyse his performance.

MOVEMENT

There often appeared little movement from the Argentinian as Barcelona patiently controlled possession but, in the blink of an eye it seemed, he could accelerate away. He caught City napping early in the second half and seconds later the complexion of the tie changed as he was brought down and scored from the spot, with Martin Demichelis sent off.

POSSESSION

Came deep a lot to receive the ball and often looked for a pass. Occasionally though he would burst into life from a standing start and push City onto the back foot.

PASSING

Maybe still not back to his optimum fitness after recent injuries but his link-up play with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andres Iniesta was dangerous. City defended well for long periods but the threat never receded.

 

FINISHING

City dealt with him well in the first half, limiting him to a shot over the bar and a blocked free-kick. There were not many clear-cut opportunities for him after the break either but he tucked home the penalty with great composure.

OVERALL

City watched him well on the whole but his movement and runs from deep made him almost impossible to contain. One mistake proved highly costly. With another three weeks' worth of action, he could be an even deadlier proposition in the second leg.

PA

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