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Sunday 20 April 2014

Manchester City v Barcelona ratings

Barcelona players celebrate Lionel Messi's penalty against Manchester City
Barcelona players celebrate Lionel Messi's penalty against Manchester City

Barcelona will take a two-goal advantage to the Nou Camp after an impressive away victory at the Etihad. Here is how both teams rated.

MANCHESTER CITY

Joe Hart: Had had a pretty quiet evening until he picked Messi's penalty out of his net, and then beaten again late on. 6

Pablo Zabaleta: Tough task dealing with Iniesta but kept calm and set up Silva for a great late chance. 7

Vincent Kompany: Embodied City's defensive spirit, some terrific challenges. 8

Martin Demichelis: He may be the butt of many jokes, but he was excellent until his red card for bringing down Messi. 7

Gael Clichy: Teamed up with Kolarov to keep Messi and Dani Alves from marauding down City's left flank and it worked for most of the time. 6

Jesus Navas: 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. 6

Fernandinho: Unyielding at the heart of the midfield, he worked hard to try to draw the sting from Barcelona. 7

Yaya Toure: Rarely ventured forward - not a memorable match against his former club. 5

Aleksandar Kolarov: Good physical tussle with Alves ended honours even. 6

David Silva: His style is so much like a Barcelona player, and came so close to an equaliser late on but shot was well saved. 7

Alvaro Negredo: Would have been bitterly disappointed not to make the most of two good chances. 5

Subs:

Joleon Lescott: Came on to fill the gap left by Demichelis' dismissal. 6

Samir Nasri: Had a positive impact after coming on. 6

Edin Dzeko: Looked as though he might be the hero but pushed Pique at crucial moment. 5

BARCELONA

Victor Valdes: Unsettled at times by Negredo's physical presence but dealt with City's efforts well. 7

Dani Alves: Kept at bay for much of the time by City's defensive-minded set-up but then scored a last-minute second goal. 7

Gerard Pique: Unflustered presence in Barca's defence and had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside. 7

Javier Mascherano: Even against Negredo, refused to be out-muscled. 6

Jordi Alba: Not one of his most eye-catching performances. 6

Xavi: Kept the tiki taka-meter ticking over and a couple of decent strikes. 7

Sergio Busquets: Often looked second-best to Silva. 6

Cesc Fabregas: The now-bearded maestro played his part. 7

Alexis Sanchez: Found City's packed defence difficult to break down. 5

Lionel Messi: Difference between the teams - superb run to win the penalty and fired home the spot-kick with aplomb. 8

Andres Iniesta: Typical skilful performance but just lacking an edge. 6

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