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Manchester City 3-1 Barcelona: Ilkay Gundogan bags brace in sensational Champions League clash at the Etihad

Published 01/11/2016

Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (3L) celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (3L) celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Manchester City's German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (R) celebrates scoring his team's third goal with Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Manchester City's (left-right) John Stones, Aleksandar Kolarov, Jesus Navas and Ilkay Gundogan celebrate after the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Luis Suarez of Barcelona (C) is tackled by Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City (L) and Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City (R) during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City (C) attempts to block Sergio Busquets of Barcelona (L) cross during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Manchester City's English defender John Stones (L) vies with Barcelona's Argentinian striker Lionel Messi during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City (C) celebrates scoring his sides second goal with his Manchester City team mates during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City (R) scores his sides first goal past Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona (L) during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City and Sergio Busquets of Barcelona clash during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
A young football fan holds a placard with the name of Barcelona's Brazilian striker Neymar during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between Manchester City and Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 1, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Luis Suarez of Barcelona (L) and Lionel Messi of Barcelona(R) warm up prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Luis Suarez before the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Tim Goode/PA Wire
Barcelona's Lionel Messi before the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Tim Goode/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: The Barcelona players warm up prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona warms up prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Lionel Messi of BarceLionel Messi of Barcelona(C) warms up with his Barcelona team mates prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique before the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
A general view of the club crest pitchside before the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Champions League branding on the entrance pitchside ahead of the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 1, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Two Barcelona fans look on prior to kick off during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Manchester City FC and FC Barcelona at Etihad Stadium on November 1, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester City have beaten Barcelona 3-1 in a sensational Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Ilkay Gundogan struck twice as City produced a thrilling fightback.

Kevin De Bruyne was also on target with a sublime free-kick as City responded to Lionel Messi's early strike in remarkable fashion.

City's performance was not only an emphatic response to the 4-0 thrashing in the Nou Camp a fortnight ago that had people questioning manager Pep Guardiola's methods, but reignited their challenge in Group C.

It was a compelling, breathless contest in which both sides created numerous chances against fallible defences.

City had a strong penalty claim turned down early on while Andre Gomes hit the woodwork for Barca. Yet these were just a couple of many memorable moments that contributed to what will be remembered as a classic, and what was perhaps the dawn of a new era for City in Europe.

City started with Sergio Aguero in attack, following his surprise omission at the Nou Camp, and looked all the more dangerous for it.

There was a huge sense of anticipation as the Argentinian broke through a gap, relishing the chance to take on a defence lacking Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, in the opening minutes.

On that occasion he was flagged offside but it was an indication of City's determination to attack and that same inclination should have yielded a penalty for Raheem Sterling after 10 minutes.

The England forward looked to have been trodden on by Samuel Umtiti as he burst into the area but instead, to widespread disbelief, found himself booked for diving by Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai.

City were sensing another opportunity when Barcelona once again showed their ruthless side to snatch the lead with a clinical counter-attack.

David Silva floated a free-kick into the Barca area and the fit-again Pablo Zabaleta teed up a shooting chance for Aguero. Javier Mascherano blocked and in an instant everything changed as Messi swept the ball forward to release Neymar. The Brazilian raced clear and then played a perfect return pass for Messi behind the retreating defence. Much the same as a fortnight ago, Messi made no mistake as he jinked into the area and finished coolly.

The shock of conceding in such a sudden manner seemed to take the sting out of City for a time and Barca could easily have increased their lead. Neymar had a shot from a tight angle tipped away by Willy Caballero and another effort blocked, while Gomes was also thwarted and Luis Suarez spurned two chances.

But City were gifted a way back into the game six minutes before the break as Sergi Roberto played a casual ball across his own box and Aguero intercepted. He quickly released Sterling and his low ball to the far post was thumped in by Gundogan.

The complexion of the game changed again and Aguero was inches away from getting the final touch to a Fernandinho drive in front of goal.

Both sides committed fully to attack and Messi appealed for a penalty after a Fernandinho tackle before Sterling was let down by a poor touch after being put through on goal.

City's efforts were rewarded after Sergio Busquets bundled Silva over outside the area to give De Bruyne his chance. Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a slight movement in the wrong direction and De Bruyne took full advantage as he lifted the ball over the wall and beyond the German's reach.

Barca were unlucky not to equalise as Gomes rattled the bar following a Suarez break but, in a dramatic passage of play, they were also reprieved as De Bruyne shot wide at the other end seconds later.

The next goal was critical and City got it after another slick attack. De Bruyne released substitute Jesus Navas with a fine throughball and his pull-back struck Aguero before being tucked in by Gundogan. Ter Stegen claimed Aguero had handled but his complaints fell on deaf ears.

It was the goal that killed the game and City held on to celebrate a famous victory.

Match preview

Nolito believes beating Barcelona tonight is vital to Manchester City's hopes of progressing in the Champions League.

City were beaten 4-0 when the sides met at the Nou Camp a fortnight ago and are now facing a tough battle to qualify for the last 16 from Group C.

Another loss to the Catalan giants could hand impetus to Borussia Monchengladbach or Celtic in what would then be a race for second place.

Forward Nolito, who has scored five goals since his summer move from Celta Vigo, said: "If we want to qualify for the next round we need to win this one.

"We have some difficult games left and the first one is Barcelona. We know how strong they are but we are going to try to take some points off them."

Barcelona will be without two of their first-choice defenders in Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba, while midfielder Andres Iniesta is also sidelined.

Yet they remain a formidable side with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar leading the line.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: John Stones of Manchester City slips under pressure from Luis Suarez of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Manchester City's Argentinian defender Pablo Zabaleta controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez protests to the referee during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Claudio Bravo of Manchester City FC is shown a red card during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Claudio Bravo of Manchester City walks off the pitch after being sent off during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City holds off pressure from Jeremy Mathieu of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates with team mates after scoring his teams second goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: David Silva of Manchester City holds off pressure from Denis Suarez of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic (C) and Barcelona's Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano (L) vie with Manchester City's Serbian defender Aleksandar Kolarov during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (bottom) vies with Manchester City's defender John Stones (C top) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (R) vies with Manchester City's defender John Stones during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Players of Manchester City FC pose for a team photo before the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: Supporters of FC Barcelona show pro-independence of Catalonia flags while the teams enter the pitch before the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 19: A general view outside the stadium ahead of the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Manchester City's Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo warms up before the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs Manchester City at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 19, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
A general view from inside the stadium during the UEFA Champions League group C match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City FC at Camp Nou on October 19, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Old friends and team-mates: Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola line up for Spain against Austria back in 1999
Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

Nolito, 30, said: "Even if they have players missing it is still Barca we are playing against. They have a very strong squad.

"Whatever player plays can make it difficult for you."

City will have Willy Caballero in goal with Claudio Bravo suspended while top scorer Sergio Aguero seems likely to start after surprisingly being put on the bench in Barcelona.

Nolito said: "I think he is one of the best strikers in the world and we are proud to have him in the team.

"We hope he can have one of those days where he scores many goals and hopefully we can win the match."

City's former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is well aware of how ruthless his old team can be and knows the Premier League leaders will have to be at their best.

He said: "We have to play like a final. It's not a final for them, it is a final for us.

"There are just three games left and we dropped two points in Glasgow, so we have to recover those points in the next two games.

"I have never entered a match thinking we can't win but we have to play almost perfectly."

Guardiola has also warned his side to watch their discipline. Bravo's dismissal at the Nou Camp was City's fourth red card in five games against Barca, all of which ended in defeat.

He said: "It's always difficult to win Champions League games and it's always difficult against Barcelona 11 v 11, but when it's 10 v 11 it's almost impossible."

Barca boss Luis Enrique is wary of the threat posed by Guardiola.

He said: "I think Pep's Man City have a lot of things going for them, they can do many things.

"We know Pep and we know his ideas. We have to be very attentive to what they do because Pep will try to touch the correct key to get the result."

Online Editors

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