Manchester City became the final team from the English Premier League to say farewell to this season’s European Championships after Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. Barcelona won home and away against City but despite that the tie kept us at edge of our seats.
Manchester City must be given due credit for making the most of the games in second half of both the legs. At times, Barcelona’s defence looked shaky against the determination of City.
After City’s exit at Camp Nou, we outline the key things we learned as Barcelona reach yet another Quarter-Final of the most elite competition in club football.
English team went suffered an exit but an English keeper went on a high
Manchester City bowed out of the Champions League at Camp Nou but Joe Hart must have written his names in history books by displaying one of the finest performances in a Champione League game.
Hart saved 11 shots on target from Barcelona and at least 4 certain goals from Leo Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Hart’s concentration levels were amazing as his last defining save came in the 90th minute of the game from a point-blank range from a Messi’s shot.
Manchester City need a massive squad overhaul
This was a massive game for City’s hopes of climbing the charts of European football but unfortunately all of their big-money signings failed to turn up for this game (Joe Hart was signed for £100,000).
Players like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri had shockers on the night while Sergio Aguero bottled under pressure and missed the penalty at a crucial time. Had Aguero scored the pen, things might have ended differently.
Since their first appearance in 2011, Man City have spent 323 million on their squad but tonight they had only Fernandinho, Martin Dimichilies, Bacary Sagna (free) in the line-up which were not present in 2011. City need to do a quick overhauling their squad or else, they will keep falling behind in the pack.
Barcelona need to find a plan B
This has been a suggestion given to most of the recent managers at Camp Nou and Luis Enrique is no different. Barcelona love to pass and move but at times, they do need a plan B to make sure their opponents are not working their strategies.
In both the legs, City came stronger in the second half and Barca could not do anything. Luis Enrique must have a plan B before playing their next game in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League.
Wilfried Bony needs to play more to effect games for City
Seeing this Wilfried Bony on the pitch must make every Swansea fan happy thinking that they bagged 28 million for this BONY. The Ivorian has not had an impact since joining the Etihad outfits and will never be a useful resource until played regularly.
City bought a striker worth 28 million to play constantly and not warm the bench week-in-week-out. Pellegrini prefers to play 4-4-2 and Bony should be his second striker alongside Sergio Aguero.
“MSN” will get even better and stronger
This is easily the best front trio in world football at the moment. Combination play between Messi, Suarez and Neymar (MSN) is worth applauding. They keep finding each other with such ease it is almost magical at times.
Suarez constantly plays on the shoulders of the defenders, while Messi has taken the role of dropping deep and feeding forward balls. Neymar just stays on the left hand side and makes darting run cutting defences wide open and to make his task easier he has the likes of Messi and Suarez to feed him.
This combination has just started to take shape and it could be the deciding factor in Barcelona’s season if they end up winning the La Liga and Champions League.
Image Credits: barcacentral