Messi shines in Man City 4-0 thumping
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