In a great setting at Camp Nou on Pep Guardiola’s return, every bit of the match had something surprising apart from the Lionel Messi hat-trick. Manchester City again were run rampant by Barcelona in Champions league, this was their 3rd defeat in their 3 visits to Barcelona. Pep Guardiola set up his team bravely to face Barcelona at their own turf and he tried to show them that he came in to get everything that was there on the offering but unfortunately down to there own mistakes and some of Barcelona’s stupendous display of football they looked like a lost case.
Last time when Pep visited Barcelona with Bayern he was at the receiving end of a 3-0 defeat which was more down to his failed tactics rather than Barcelona’s superior display. Even though he learned from the last time and fielded a four man defense but Man City’s error prone display which was taken hands on by Lionel Messi and co.
City planned their own downfall on the night, first the slip by Fernandinho to allow Messi have the space and ball to put it in the back of the net and you can bet your life on him when he’s in such situation to score. Suarez then made up the game to tee up Messi which he comfortably put past Bravo. Claudio Bravo then dig his own grave by handling the ball outside the box for which he got sent off and Messi took the full advantage of a man short depleted City team to complete his hat-trick. Barca defender- Jeremy Mathieu then got sent off after coming on as the replacement for injured Gerard Pique.
Pep wouldn’t have thought of such a game from his team in his wildest dreams, everything was going against City until the substitute goalkeeper Willy Caballero saved a penalty in 86th minute taken by Neymar who then later on made up for it by scoring a great goal teamed up with Messi leaving John Stones for dead.
Pep Guardiola has always been brave with his decisions and after such a night there are questions being asked from him about his treatment with Joe Hart who was sent out on loan to Torino because he didn’t fit in the plans for Pep who likes to play from the back and want his goalkeeper to be good with his feets but with Bravo’s such school boy mistakes there’s hardly a case he could put up for himself.
Also, omitting Aguero and played De Bruyne as the central forward didn’t turn out to be as he would’ve expected it. With a defeat against Barcelona he now faces one of the worst phases of his coaching career where he hasn’t managed a win in 4 games in all competitions.
Although there are certain positives that he could take as City were toe to toe with Barcelona in the first half and his tactics seemed to be working until the genius of Messi separated the two teams.