City humble Barça in CL thriller
Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann (left) celebrates with teammate Diego Godin after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League Group D match between Atletico Madrid and Rostov at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid, Spain, yesterday. The game ended 2-1. MANCHESTER, England (AP): ILKAY GUNDOGAN scored either side of Kevin De Bruyne’s curling free kick to help Manchester City come from behind to beat Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League, as Pep Guardiola got the better of his old club yesterday.
Atletico Madrid scored a late 2-1 win over Rostov, PSG clipped Basel 2-1 on the road, Bayern bettered PSG 2-1, while Arsenal came from two goals down to beat Ludogorets 3-2.
In other games yesterday, Benfica beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 while there were 1-1 draws in the Besiktas-Napoli and Monchengladbach-Celtic games.
Lionel Messi’s 90th goal in Europe’s top club competition gave Barcelona a 21st-minute lead, but City were rampant after Gundogan’s equalizer in the 39th.
It was a landmark win for City over a team that the English club has modelled itself on since becoming a major force in the game after an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008. And it was a satisfying victory for Guardiola, who coached Barcelona to 14 trophies from 2008-12.
City’s pressing was relentless in the second half, forcing errors from Barcelona’s makeshift defence and holding midfielder Sergio Busquets, with De Bruyne being at the heart of everything.
The Belgium playmaker whipped home a 25m free kick in the 51st minute to put City 21 up and then provided a stunning through-ball in the lead-up to the third goal, which was slammed in by Gundogan from close range in the 74th after the ball fell at his feet off the arm of Sergio Aguero.
City had lost all five of their meetings with Barcelona in the Champions League over the past four seasons — including a 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou two weeks ago.
Barcelona missed the chance to secure progress to the last 16 with two games to spare in Group C, and are now two points clear of City. Guardiola’s team will advance with a draw at thirdplaced Borussia Moenchen-gladbach in round five, provided Barcelona doesn’t lose at Celtic.