New Delhi: Barcelona made a promising start at the Etihad Stadium against a favoured Manchester City with a precision goal by striker Lionel Messi. However, as soon as fans all over the world settled with their narration of the match, things turned around: Manchester City came right back into the game.
Barcelona was going to lead into the half game if it was not for Sergi Roberto’s costly mistake which allowed Raheem Sterling to set up a superb goal for Ikay Gundogan. When the Men in Blue came back to the pitch after the half time, they were more determined to gain traction into the game.
At the 51st minute, Kevin de Bruyne sent a scuttling free kick shot pass Barcelona’s post as the stadium erupted in cheers. With 16 minutes then left in the game, Gundogan scored again, decisively taking the game towards City’s side.
Albeit star striker Sergio Aguero failed to score in the 3-1 tally, his contribution, however, was significant in the game.
“They had an amazing 30 minutes, we had a lot of problems but our first goal helped us a lot. In the second half we created a lot of counter attacks. I am so happy for the guys, it is the first time we have beaten the best team in the world. Today is a good step. We play against a great team and we compete. Now they will realise, ‘Wow, we won against the best team,” said manager Pep Guardiola after the match.
“It was one of the best 40 minutes we have played on a stage like this against top-quality rivals. After the error for 1-1 we had a bad time. When you concede in that way it is normal that you go through a bad period. We hoped to continue to dominate but couldn’t because of errors we made and pressure from the opponent also. We did not have as much possession. We were not able to control the game in the same way. First 40 for us and 50 for them and the score reflects that,” Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said.
Manchester City host Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Saturday.