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city boys aim to tame barca

MANUEL Pellegrini has promised Manchester City fans a performance to wipe away memories of last season's tame exit at the hands of Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

The City manager (inset) believes that his players were battered and bruised by circumstances when the two teams met at the same stage last year.

"I think that last year was different to this year.

"We arrived at this stage of the Champions League after playing 19 games in two months, and I don't think it was our best moment," he said.

"But I hope this year we will do it after not playing so many games.

"I think that our team is in a good moment, although we also recognise we are going to be playing against a very strong team."

Pellegrini is promising a fast tempo and an early attempt to knock Barcelona out of their stride.

"I think that the main thing for our team is to try to fight for the possession of the ball - it is very important because a game with low pace is better for Barcelona than our team," he added.