Champions League LIVE! Barcelona v Manchester City - Live coverage - The Independent

Champions League LIVE! Barcelona v Manchester City



BY JAMES ORR


by j.orr

Welcome to the Independent's live coverage of this vital Champions League last-16 second-leg fixture between Barcelona and Manchester City at the Nou Camp.
  • 3/12/2014 6:03:14 PM
  • What a match we could witness tonight, City needing to overturn a two-goal defeat to reach uncharted European territory, and looking to carry on their phenomenal total of goals this season, which currently stands at 122 in all competitions. The match could be as much of a test of Barca's character as of City's. They have struggled recently, losing two of their last three matches.
    3/12/2014 6:24:58 PM
  • From the Independent's Ian Herbert in Barcelona, they don't think to over-do things over in the Spanish city it seems..

    3/12/2014 6:31:17 PM
  • While it was too much of an ask for the Gunners last night, here are ten reasons why City could still pull this off and progress tonight. CLICK HERE to read our positive (if you are a City fan) guide...

    3/12/2014 6:37:25 PM
  • And the City team is in...Lescott in for the suspended Demichelis. Big night too for Milner.
    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (capt), Lescott, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Aguero
    3/12/2014 6:42:01 PM
  • The selection of Milner is polarising opinion..

    3/12/2014 6:43:03 PM
  • And since you asked...here is the fearsome Barca XI for tonight, just the Messi, Neymar and Iniesta to worry about:
    Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Cesc; Iniesta, Messi, Neymar
    3/12/2014 6:50:34 PM
  • Vincent Kompany will lead out the City team tonight, and he has drawn a comparision with City's great comeback against QPR on the final day of the season in 2012 to secure the Premier League. It could all come down to two late goals of course. CLICK HERE to read the full article

    Emotionally it's a tough ask, but emotionally you won't beat how we beat QPR and if anything gives you belief in chasing late causes then it should be that

    3/12/2014 6:58:38 PM
  • Prediction time. What is yours?



    3/12/2014 7:00:29 PM
  • If City's task is near impossible tonight, what does that make Bayer Leverkusen's? The German side have a four goal deficit to overcome against PSG.

    The French champions are not holding back either. Ibrahimovic, Cavani and Lavezzi all start in Paris. Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti are both missing through injury.

    Bayer have dropped Stefan Kiesling and made five changes from the first leg.
    3/12/2014 7:11:52 PM
  • Just the 25 minutes to go at the Nou Camp now...and the excitement builds at the grand stadium. Both sets of players being put through their paces.
    3/12/2014 7:21:30 PM
  • Still a somewhat confused reaction to the inclusion of Milner it seems...


    3/12/2014 7:23:56 PM


  • 3/12/2014 7:28:21 PM
  • Just in case you are not aware of the enormity of City's task tonight:

    3/12/2014 7:33:07 PM
  • Barcelona players in a determined huddle on the Nou Camp pitch during their warm up. A defeat tonight and it would be three losses in their last four matches. Are the club, dare I say it, on the brink of a crisis?
    3/12/2014 7:35:55 PM
  • Just the five minutes until kick-off...soon the sound of the stirring Champions League anthem will fill the players' ears. But will it be the last time City's team will be listening to it this season?
    3/12/2014 7:40:31 PM
  • 3/12/2014 7:44:12 PM
  • Manuel Pellegrini has to watch from the stands as he sits out the first game of his two-match Uefa ban. But at least tonight he is wearing a suit, and not this untidy get-up from the weekend...
    3/12/2014 7:44:24 PM
  • And there it is. The anthem reverberates as the players stand braced for battle on the pitch. Kick-off just a minute away. I hope you are all sitting tight.
    3/12/2014 7:46:15 PM
  • 2 min: And we begin. City get us started, using the space of the vast Nou Camp pitch. The deadly Silva picks up the ball on the outside of the box, but he can't get a shot away in  time.
    3/12/2014 7:50:01 PM
  • 3 min: Encouraging start by City. Iniesta closed down by Fernandinho. What a big part the Brazilian enforcer could play tonight.
    3/12/2014 7:51:35 PM
  • 4 min: Aguero charges on forward, holding off his countryman Messi, no less, who has tracked back. But eventually Barca snuff out the danger.
    3/12/2014 7:52:27 PM
  • 4 min: Cynical foul there by Lescott, who takes out Messi before he can move up to another gear. He avoids an early booking, but the referee will remember this.
    3/12/2014 7:53:55 PM
  • 5 min: Neymar gets into space down the right, he looks to cross to messi in the area, but Zabaleta's lunge breaks up the move. Now City start their own counter-attack but it comes to nothing. A fast-paced, open, and enjoyable start.
    3/12/2014 7:55:48 PM
  • 7 min: While Lescott avoided a booking, the same cannot be said for Fernandinho. He chops down Busquets and is give a yellow. He'll have to be careful now for the next 82 mins against a team that have to be broken down quickly. For his troubles, he will also miss the next match, should City progress, of course.
    3/12/2014 7:58:49 PM
  • 11 min: Just like the majority of the first leg. Barca beginning to dictate the tempo of the game now. Messi with a majestic run, he dances through the City defence, Hart charges out of his goal, the ball ricochets past him but Messi can not turn it in. A warning sign there if there ever was one...
    3/12/2014 8:02:09 PM
  • 13 min: City win a corner but it is cleared  by Mascherano's stooping header. A couple of wasteful long balls punted up front by City, they don't need to resort to route one football just yet.
    3/12/2014 8:04:06 PM
  • 15 min: What was that about route one? A fine move by City sees Kolarov finds Milner but he side-foots wide.
    3/12/2014 8:05:49 PM
  • 16 min: A case of anything you can do, we can do better. Neymar has the ball in the back of the net but he's called offside. Fabregas puts in Alaba, who passes the ball  past Hart for Neymar to tap in, but the left-back was called offside. An incredibly close call. Let off for City.
    3/12/2014 8:08:31 PM
  • 20 min: Barca happy to calm things down and retain possession, City's midfield beginning to look stretched. How much will that early yellow for Fernandinho affect proceedings?
    3/12/2014 8:10:36 PM


  • 3/12/2014 8:11:23 PM
  • 22 min: Toure with one of those galloping, lunge-busting runs up field. But good work from Mascherano sees his pass cut out. 
    3/12/2014 8:12:37 PM
  • 25 min: It's that man again. The little genius Messi. He evades two City challenges and looks to put Neymar in on goal, but he over hits the pass and Hart comes out to collect.
    3/12/2014 8:14:52 PM
  • 26 min: On the half volley, City's little genius, Silva, looks to put Aguero through, but Mascherano is there again to cut out the pass. The Spanish playmaker constantly  looking to start the attack.
    3/12/2014 8:17:12 PM
  • 30 min: A very positive opening half an hour for City. They are certainly up for this one. Unfortunately for City, so is Messi.
    3/12/2014 8:19:06 PM
  • 32 min: His place in the starting XI may have raised a few eyebrows, but Milner just showed why he is there. Winning the ball back from Fabregas after chasing back down the right wing. A team of 11 Messi's would never work, would it?
    3/12/2014 8:22:18 PM
  • 35 min: Zabaleta wins the ball, and Toure charges forward. The well-executed counter-attack concludes in Silva cutting the ball back, with time to tee up a shot... but blasts his effort over the bar. Barca looked worried there.
    3/12/2014 8:25:39 PM
  • 37 min: Iniesta has gone off for treatment after clashing with Zabaleta. But the magic spray has come out, so he'll be fine...
    3/12/2014 8:26:33 PM
  • 38 min: What do they put in the magic spray these days then? Iniesta, back on the field, takes the control of the ball, lofts a pass over to Neymar, who turns past Lescott..he's through on goal...but his shot hits the side netting.
    3/12/2014 8:28:49 PM
  • 39 min: And it's a great chance for City. The ball is knocked back to Nasri at the edge of the box, he keeps his effort low, but fizzes it straight at Valdes. A quite brilliant move there.
    3/12/2014 8:30:09 PM
  • 40 min: Milner watch - and this time it is not positive news to report. The England midfielder gets into space down the right of the area, but his scooped cross cannot find a team-mate.
    3/12/2014 8:32:05 PM
  • 42 min: Messi passes to Neymar, who is forced wide by Hart, he still dribbles past the 'keeper and gets a shot at goal...but it is cleared of the line by Fernandinho! Best chance of the match there. The tie was nearly put to bed.
    3/12/2014 8:33:57 PM
  • HT: That's all the action from the first half at the Nou Camp. Enjoyable, open football on that vast pitch, but Barca still look good for their lead in the tie. While City have proved they are no pushovers, the best moments of the half came from the Spanish giants.
    3/12/2014 8:36:00 PM
  • Such is his desire. He's looking to get a head on that. Milner's inclusion might have polarised opinion, but he's dug in tonight.

    3/12/2014 8:41:15 PM
  • 46 min: The players are out, and Barcelona start the second half. Still 0-0, and still all to play for. Plenty of time for City to overturn that two goal deficit.
    3/12/2014 8:48:58 PM
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