Messi shines in Man City 4-0 thump­ing

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feedback: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Madrid: Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona pun­ished 10-man Manch­ester City 4-0 in the Cham­pi­ons League on Pep Guardi­ola’s re­turn to his old club.

City were com­pet­i­tive in the first half, but made far too many er­rors against a ruth­less Barcelona rev­el­ling in Messi’s re­turn from in­jury. A Fer­nand­inho slip in­side his own box put Messi clear for his first, then Kevin de Bruyne lost pos­ses­sion al­low­ing An­dres Ini­esta to set up the Ar­gen­tine for a left-footed strike into the bot­tom cor­ner. The evening got worse for the vis­i­tors when goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo was sent off for han­dling out­side the box and min­utes later Messi struck again. Barcelona were also re­duced to 10 men in the last 15 min­utes as sub­sti­tute Jeremy Mathieu was shown a sec­ond yel­low card for a foul on Ra­heem Ster­ling, but by then the dam­age had been done. Willy Ca­ballero saved a late Ney­mar penalty, but the Brazil­ian scored from open play min­utes later to com­plete a com­pre­hen­sive win for the La Liga side. The vic­tory main­tained Barcelona’s 100% start in Group C and ex­tended their lead over City to five points. It was the first time City had con­ceded four times in the com­pe­ti­tion and an­other mis­er­able re­turn to the Nou Camp for Guardi­ola. BBC Sports who had the cen­tre pass, but Aus­tralia made them bat­tle to main­tain pos­ses­sion in the init i a l stages. Aus­tralia made the Ferns bat­tle work the ball into the at­tack­ing cir­cle with some en­er­getic de­fence, while by com­par­i­son the Di­a­monds had few prob­lems ini­tially find­tow­er­ing ing goal shoot to Caitlin Bas­sett. The Di­a­monds ran out to a six goal lead 12-6 to­wards the end of the first quar­ter as the Ferns were heav­ily pe­nalised. By quar­ter time, the Sil­ver Ferns had fought back to 13-9, but con­ceded far more penal­ties 21-12. The teams drew the fi­nal quar­ter 13-13. The match was also the fi­nal test for Di­a­monds de­fender Claire McMen­i­man. At a glance Aus­tralia 49 (Caitlin Bas­sett 42/46, Gre­tel Tip­pett 7/10), New Zealand 45 (Bai­ley Mes 19/27, Te Paea Sel­byRickit 9/11, Maria Tu­taia 17/20). Quar­ter scores 13-9; 22-19; 3632. - Stuff

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