Messi on target as Barcelona kill off City

Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:35pm EDT
 
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By Tim Hanlon

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Lionel Messi struck to end Manchester City's dreams of a famous comeback as Barcelona beat the English club 2-1 at the Nou Camp on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.

Barca looked far from the classic team who lifted the trophy in 2009 and 2011 but a stuttering version under Gerardo Martino that had lost two of their last three games was still far too strong for the Premier League club.

City, who lost the first leg of the last-16 tie 2-0 at home, were a constant threat to the Spanish champions, but they were left to rue missed chances by David Silva, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta.

Captain Vincent Kompany leveled for the visitors on the night with a tap-in in the 89th minute, but Dani Alves responded by sweeping home the winner in the first minute of stoppage time.

City had been reduced to 10 men by then after Zabaleta was shown a second yellow card for dissent in the 78th minute.

The Argentine defender was incensed with referee Stephane Lannoy's decision to ignore City's strong penalty claims when substitute Edin Dzeko went down in the area under a challenge by Gerard Pique.

"It was a clear penalty," Kompany told Sky Sports. "Dzeko was in position to shoot and his trigger foot was caught.

"We have got nothing left in the tank. We gave everything and a few times we could have scored and obviously that would have changed the game.   Continued...

 
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester City during their Champions League last 16 second leg soccer match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea