19 February, 2014 - 09:41

UEFA Champions League: Barcelona beat Manchester City, PSG thrash Bayer Leverkusen

Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona made huge steps to the last eight round qualification with victories in Leverkusen and Manchester respectively.

Manchester City 0-2 Barcelona

The clash that had been anticipated for months as had been dubbed as one of the most intriguing matches in the history of Champions League ended somehow prosaically with FC Barcelona all but securing their place in quarterfinals. Manuel Pellegrini preferred to choose defensive tactics but gave too much control away to the Catalan side letting them lead the game from the very start. Still, neither side created many goal-scoring chances in the first half. It was on 53 minutes that Jesus Navas lost he ball in the centre of the pitch and allowed Sergio Busquets to provide Lionel Messi with a long pass that saw the Argentine player run towards Joe Hart. Martin Demichelis had little to do but knock the forward down and get his marching orders. However, apart from reducing the Citizens to 10 men, the referee awarded the visitors with a penalty kick, despite the replays suggesting the foul had occured outside the box. Lionel Messi scored from the spot which was his first goal in England. Being one man down City struggled to get any posession over the ball, but managed to make several dangerous attacks. Barcelona felt quite comfortable controlling the game and scored the second goal one minute before time courtesy of Daniel Alves’ effort. All in all, Gerardo Martino’s mission at Etihad was complete and it’s hard to tell if there is anything that would stop them from progressing to the next round.

Bayer Leverkusen 0-4 PSG

Laurent Blanc’s team looked favorites in the tie against Germany’s third outfit Bayer. However, the first leg in Leverkusen proved the clubs are simply not playing in the same league. The French side were 3-0 up before half-time courtesy of Blaise Matuidi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker scored from the spot before making a stunning cannon strike from just outside the box. Emir Spahic was sent off for the second bookable offense early in the second half and Yohan Cabaye added a late goal to complete a 4-0 thrashing. Paris Saint-Germain have now all but secured participation in the last eight.

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Author: Leon Smolski

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