UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona: 5 Talking Points
A brace from Ilkay Gundogan and an exquisite free kick from Kevin de Bruyne earned Manchester City a 3-1 win at home against Barcelona. The result leaves City with a 3-point lead over Monchengladbach in Group C, while Barcelona remain on 9 points with 2 more matchdays to go.
Barcelona travelled to the Etihad Stadium in buoyant form, with a 5-point lead at the top of their Champions League group. City headed into the game with a number of games to avenge, and the fire in their collective belly made the difference on the night.
Here are 5 talking points from the game.
#1 Referee Viktor Kassai has a poor game
City began the game on a bright note and were matching Barcelona toe-to-toe, tackle-to-tackle for the first 15 minutes. In that spell, they created a wonderful opportunity courtesy an Aguero run into space, which drew Barca’s defence, and the Argentinian striker played Sterling into space.
Sterling proceeded with the ball into the box and drew a clumsy challenge from young centre-back Samuel Umtiti. While television replays showed clear contact between the two, referee Viktor Kassai waved away the appeals by the Citizens and instead booked Raheem Sterling for simulation.
This was not the only contentious decision made by the Hungarian referee, who is considered one of the best in the business. A number of his calls turned out to be wrong, and he was also guilty of not booking Busquets, despite the fact that a number of mistimed tackles by the Spaniard could have earned him a booking in other matches.
City did go on to win the game, but the wrong call early on by Kassai could have cost them big time on another day.