UEFA Champions League 2016/17: Barcelona 4-0 Manchester City - 5 Talking Points
Lionel Messi routed Manchester City in the Champions League group stage match.
Manchester City travelled to Barcelona to face the Catalans for the 5th time in under 3 years in the Champions League group stage match. With Barca hosting the game in front of a rocking Nou Camp, City were up against it from the very beginning.
The game ended with a 4-0 thrashing of City, a stark reminder to Guardiola’s side that they are far from being counted as one of Europe’s best club sides. Messi bagged a hat-trick, while Neymar treated the capacity crowd in attendance to a wonderful goal in the closing stages of the game.
The result leaves City in second place on their group table, 5 points behind leaders Barcelona, who maintain a perfect record in the Champions League this season.
Here are 5 talking points from the game
#1 The absence of Aguero
The Argentine, who has been Manchester City’s talisman for a long time and already has 8 goals this season (including 3 in 2 previous group stage games), was conspicuous by his absence from the starting lineup.
City were unable to channel the ball through the middle efficiently in the first half. de Bruyne, playing as the furthest central player, was repeatedly found making unsuitable runs, while David Silva was unable to link up with him owing to the numerical superiority that Barca’s midfielders created in their own half.
Aguero did come on late in the game, but the game had gone away from the team and City were also playing with 10 men after Bravo’s sending off