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Joe Hart left frustrated as Manuel Pellegrini laments penalty miss

By Andy Hampson

Joe Hart was full of praise for Barcelona but could not hide his disappointment as Manchester City exited the Champions League with a 1-0 defeat in Catalonia.

Hart put in an outstanding performance to keep the score down but Lionel Messi was at his brilliant best and Ivan Rakitic scored in the 31st minute to hand Barcelona a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Sergio Aguero also missed a late penalty for City, mirroring Messi in the first leg, and Hart felt his team-mate's failure from 12 yards was crucial.

"We've gone out to a magnificent side," Hart admitted afterwards. "But that's the second time in two years which is disappointing for us.

"They're going to get a lot of plaudits for how they play, they've got fantastic players, but we had a big chance, we hung on in there and we had a big chance but unfortunately we couldn't take it. I suppose you could say they had a chance to finish us off in the first game and they didn't take it but that's how football goes." Hart made a string of impressive saves, especially in the second half, and midfielder James Milner was full of praise for his team-mate's performance.

"There are not too many words you can say," Milner said. "It's incredible really.

"He's showed again what a great keeper he is and it's not the first time he's done that for us in Europe. He gave us that chance with the penalty (in the first leg). They could have been out of sight by then and he gave us a chance to still be in it.

"He was amazing and deserves everything that gets said about him."

Hart added: "It was busy. I just tried to smother them as best I could because I know full well they're thinking they've got to pass at all times.

"I tried to rush him for the goal, I thought he took it well. From there my job is to rush them, with quality players it's difficult to do sometimes, and I got a bit of luck on my side.

"I don't know how Neymar's stayed out in the first minute but that's football.

"We did our best to stay in it and were just unfortunate tonight."

City boss Manuel Pellegrini said: "I think we lost against a better team without doubt.

"Lionel Messi is very difficult to contain. Maybe we didn't play so well in the first half but we improved in the second and we took risks.

"We needed to score two goals and we thought it might happen had we scored the penalty.

"That was a very important moment because we had 15 minutes more to play."

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