Tactical analysis of the Man City-Barca clash

Feb 20, 2014, 08:16 IST | PA Sport

After Barcelona beat Manchester City 2-0 in their Champions League encounter, we analyse the performances of both the teams

Manchester City
> Joe Hart: 6
Had had a pretty quiet evening until he picked Messi's penalty out of his net, and was then beaten again late on.
> Pablo Zabaleta: 7
Had a tough task dealing with Iniesta but kept calm and set up Silva for a great late chance.
> Vincent Kompany: 8
Embodied City's defensive spirit, made some terrific challenges.
> Martin Demichelis: 7
He may be the butt of many jokes, but he was excellent until his red card for bringing down Messi.
> Gael Clichy: 6
Teamed up with Kolarov to keep Messi and Alves from marauding down the left flank and it worked for most of the time.
> Jesus Navas: 6
Played so deep he was almost a full-back, but had the pace to unsettle Jordi Alba at times and set up Negredo for a great chance.
> Fernandinho: 7
Unyielding at the heart of the midfield, he worked hard to try to draw the sting from Barcelona.
> Yaya Toure: 5
Rarely ventured forward — not a memorable match against his former club.
> Aleksandar Kolarov: 6
Had a good physical tussle with Alves which ended with honours even.
> David Silva: 7
His style is so much like a Barcelona player. He came so close to an equaliser late on but his shot was well saved.
> Alvaro Negredo: 5
He would have been bitterly disappointed not to make the most of two good chances.

> Joleon Lescott: 6
Came on to fill the gap left by Demichelis' dismissal.
> Samir Nasri: 6
Had a positive impact after coming on in the second half.
> Edin Dzeko: 5
Looked as though he might be the hero but pushed Pique at crucial moment.

> Victor Valdes: 7
Unsettled at times by physical Negredo but dealt with City's efforts well.
> Dani Alves: 7
Kept at bay for much of the time by City's defensive-minded set-up but then scored a last-minute second goal.
> Gerard Pique: 7
Unflustered presence in defence and had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside.
> Javier Mascherano: 6
Refused to be out-muscled by Negredo.
> Jordi Alba: 6
Not one of his most eye-catching performances.
> Xavi: 7
Kept the tiki taka-meter ticking over and had a couple of decent strikes.
> Sergio Busquets: 6
Often looked second-best to Silva.
> Cesc Fabregas: 7
The maestro played his part in the win.
> Alexis Sanchez: 5
Found City's packed defence difficult to break down.
> Lionel Messi: 8
Difference between the teams — made a superb run to win the penalty and fired home the spot-kick with aplomb.
> Andres Iniesta: 6
Typical skilful performance but just lacking an edge.

> Neymar: 6
Set up Alves' goal.


XaviBarcelona's Xavi completed 131 passes last night, nine more than Man City's four midfielders — Yaya Toure (50 passes), Fernandinho (31), Jesus Navas (20) and Aleksandar Kolarov (21) — Combined

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