19 Feb

Hart - It took half an hour before Barcelona had a shot and that sailed far away from danger. Indeed, for all their elegant possession, they struggled to fashion too many chances and Hart wasn’t as busy as many expected. Some have blamed him for the second goal but that’s harsh in the extreme. One negative was his kicking, however. Negredo often peeled away towards the smaller fullbacks but Hart’s distribution was invariably directed towards the more aerially powerful Piqué - 6

Zabaleta - He found it a challenge to offer any sort of attacking threat down the right, such was our need for defensive resilience but he did his primary job well enough. Tucked in frequently to support Kompany and made a string of vital blocks and interceptions - 7

Kompany - Our inspirational leader proved once more just what a monumentally imperious figure he is. Rose to the challenge superbly, displaying all his skills of pressing, anticipation and strength and he was unfortunate to be on the losing side - 8.5

Demichelis – He’s the man who splits opinion more than most and that will only continue after this display. While he was on the pitch, he was outstanding. Assuaged any fears about his inclusion with his nous and acumen leading him to frustrate the visitors. Pinched the ball off Barcelona’s toes on countless occasions, although his passing did let him down in the first half. And then came the tackle. He had to make it and whilst it was a debatable decision to award a penalty, a sending off was inevitable and that changed the course of the game - 7

Clichy - His fatigue towards the end was painfully evident and that enabled Dani Alves to brush past him to put the tie beyond the Blues. Before then, Clichy had been relentless in his duties, efficiently thwarting the threat of Alexis Sanchez and, in combination with Kolarov, that of Alves. After such an energetic showing against Chelsea just three days earlier, it was no surprise he was feeling the effects late on yesterday - 7

Y. Touré - Questions have been raised, justifiably, about his defensive application in a central midfield role but Yaya followed Pellegrini’s orders with responsibility by sitting deeper and curtailing his attacking instincts. There was the odd sign of his range of passing and power on the ball but for the most part, he had to contend with protecting City’s back four and pressing Barcelona’s silky midfielders when they approached the final third - 7

Fernandinho - Even when not fully fit, he was still a bundle of eager dynamism in midfield, closing down sharply and starting the odd counter-attack. Didn’t see as much of the ball as he would have liked but, like Yaya, operated with maturity in front of our defence - 7

Navas - Included because of his selfless work ethic in tracking back and he performed that role admirably but we saw very little of him in an attacking sense. It was thought that his pace could be a useful weapon if we broke but he was so deep for much of the game that he failed to influence matters further forward - 6

Kolarov - It’s hard to know what to make of his performance. Defensively, in tandem with Clichy, he helped to snuff out the considerable presence of Dani Alves and it was only later on, when Kolarov was substituted following Demichelis’s red card, that the Brazilian fullback became a key figure. On the flip side, however, he was poor in possession, slowed down our attacks and offered no element of control when he had the ball - 6

Silva - He was employed to flit around Negredo and support the striker whenever we had the chance to mount an attack but he also spent lengthy periods of the encounter facing his own goal and supporting our midfielders as they tried to reclaim possession. When we did just that, Silva was our best bet in terms of keeping the ball and biding time, but although he went close with one right-footed volley, he was on the fringes for spells - 7

Negredo - Our endeavours in using his physicality to unsettle Barcelona had limited impact, mainly due to the lack of City bodies close to him when he won headers or brought the ball under control. He was a rather isolated figure but that was an understandable by-product of the defensive formation and mindset - 6


Lescott - One woeful back-pass which resulted in a Barcelona corner brought a disdainful glance from the manager and he could, and probably should, have got tighter to his man for the second goal, so as not to allow the reverse pass to Dani Alves - 5

Nasri - Capable of holding on to the ball and running at the visitors’ backline, he added impetus and purpose to our play - 7

Dzeko – A couple of decent touches and a couple of bizarre, backwards passes - 6

24 Responses to “MAN CITY 0 – 2 Barcelona – PLAYER RATINGS”

  1. Goatman 19/02/2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I gave Pellegrini 10 for the Chelsea cup game, thought he’d seen the light and then this shambles! It was utter nonsense to go 4 -5-1 when we have got where we are by attacking. Barca are not the team they were, still very good but no real cutting edge and we missed a wonderful opportunity. The side that beat Chelsea, Milner apart, could have done it. Ok Negrado for DZecko if you wish, but not that defensive garbage. Lescott was superb against Chelsea and should have been retained. Kolorov simply got in Glichy’s way. Kolorov and Nava are both so badly one footed that when they are forced inside they can only pass backwards, yet no one thought to switch them for 15 mins or so. Great atmosphere, super crowd, I was so looking forward to this game but was bored and so disappointed I rather rip my season ticket up than watch that every week. And back to Manuel. Just when I was thinking we had a manager with some class, unlike most of the others, he joins their ranks and blames the referee for his woeful selection and tactics,

    • joshmcfc 19/02/2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Look at the bayern muncich game that’s the key reason we went 451 pellegrini chose demichelis over lescott and lescott showed y when he came on we were unlucky navas should have had a freekick in the build up to the penalty that was outside the box demichelis had a split second to make a decision on whether or not to bring messi down personally felt he could have forced him wider or tried to get back to the line and let joe hart close him down as for the 2nd I blame hart its one of the easiest alves will score due to the fact harts legs were so wide open

  2. Noldorin 19/02/2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Check the rules of the game. It was the CORRECT decision to give a penalty, so stop bitching like children. The laws say that if the tackle continues INTO the box, as it clearly did, then a penalty may be awarded. The referee got it right on the day, FIFA official rightly backed him, and one of the most eminent referees of the last two decades, Graham Poll, also agreed with his decision. Straight red and penalty was all he could do. For that matter, Messi would have almost surely scored if he hadn’t brought him down, so it’s not like you can feel hard done-by. Oh yeah, and how about mentioning the bad offside call that ruled out another goal of ours? Or the other (admittedly more borderline) penalty call Barça had?

    • terry.belfast 19/02/2014 at 7:37 pm #

      who’s bitching ya clown? the author said it was debatable.

    • Blue 19/02/2014 at 7:55 pm #


      I love the way you’ve highlighted certain words to emphasize meaning. This stylistic device coupled with your american type colloquialisms marks the type of individual who finds and enters other team’s web-sites to make his point.

      Did you really find the offical UEFA rule book, source this particular point and then jump onto this web-site to inform the good people on Manchester

      You need to get yourself a girlfriend

  3. Dougie Cooper 19/02/2014 at 7:07 pm #

    Correct tactics but Nasri should have started in place of Kolarov because we kept giving possession away in those areas. You have to admire Barcelona as a defensive unit – their ability to deny possession and space is now more impressive than what they do with possession. Correct penalty decision and sending off. Embarrassing reaction from MP. Onwards and upwards

  4. Siamack 19/02/2014 at 7:18 pm #

    >> He had to make it and whilst it was a debatable decision to award a penalty

    No he did not have to make it. As a last defender and a player of his experience, he should know a lot better for not making such stupid soft tackle. Had he not made the tackle and let Messi go through, Messi could have scored [more likely] or Hard could have pulled one of those saves [less likely] but in the end, we still would be 11 against 11.

    Such tackles form the inexperienced such as Boyata is understandable and interestingly he made one in Arsenal and he got crucified for it. But it is so criminal from Martin, as described by others a warrior probably with a Shaolin secretive Shadow kick.

    Rodwell became a victim to this last minute emergency signing who would no longer be in the club next season and now it seems Nastasic is going to be the second one to be wasted after a great season last year.

    Do not get me wrong all the way, he is a decent player but not for this level.

    • Alphie_Izzett 20/02/2014 at 7:43 am #


      “Rodwell became a victim to this last minute emergency signing ”

      Sorry chum, no he didn’t, Rodwell became a victim of his own inability to maintain match fitness. He is no longer trusted and has a great deal to do if he is to regain any professional momentum at City. He’s had two seasons to make his mark and anyone who can’t see why Moyes bit our hand off and took £12m for the lad is woefully blind.


  5. Roggie123 19/02/2014 at 7:18 pm #

    The manager has shown himself up by his comments, looks a complete idiot! Of course it was a penalty, brought about by a weak player who was out of position and too slow to get back. But maybe his comments were trying to deflect from his team. Kolarov looked like a lost sheep and didn’t appear to know what to do, go forward or back. Nasri or Milner should have played in that position. Demach. is just not good enough. I have been saying all season he is a liability and so it has proved. His distribution was shocking and he is just too slow. Surely Pelli’s love affair with him has to now end!

  6. lancashireblue4ever 19/02/2014 at 7:59 pm #

    I was full of hope for a 1 nil score line after the penalty and we nearly pulled it off. I am not de mechalis’s biggest fan but apart from 2 wayward passes early on i thought he had a good game. Milner should have got the nod on the left, i was bemused by kolarovs selection as he was given the task of playing against a technically good and quick full back, something milner would’ve been a better choice for.
    I also gather from the ‘drivel’ from other people at times that not all of us making comments are city fans!
    Who in the right mind would waste their time to go on another teams forum and make daft comments? Not me for one

    • Alphie_Izzett 20/02/2014 at 7:46 am #


      “Rodwell became a victim to this last minute emergency signing ”

      Unbemuse yourself then boyo.

      Milner was suspended for this game and almost certainly would have played instead of AK had he not been.


      • Alphie_Izzett 20/02/2014 at 7:47 am #

        Not sure what happened there, the correct quote is:

        “i was bemused by kolarovs selection as he was given the task of playing against a technically good and quick full back, something milner would’ve been a better choice for.”

        Unbemuse yourself then boyo.

        Milner was suspended for this game and almost certainly would have played instead of AK had he not been.


        • Siamack 20/02/2014 at 12:47 pm #

          >> Not sure what happened there, the correct quote is
          Probably you were still obsessing with my comments :)

  7. Glenn kavanagh 19/02/2014 at 8:52 pm #

    It’s not a time to get hypercritical but I was confident before the game that city would win well,I was very surprised to see how leggy & nervous they looked, they moved & passed the ball poorly, we all know that they are a lot better than that, they looked intimidated by barca which was disappointing, the team looked strange with Clichy & kolorov together,I was very proud to see them dig in, they played some good stuff with ten men & can count themselves slightly unfortunate, they worked hard thereafter & on another night they might have got the breaks, where’s milner??, I felt fern should have been replaced by javi after an hour, the poor chap was wrecked, I feel the criticism of the refree to be bang out of order, the ref was OK, I’ve seen far far worse, no complaints with red card & penalty, debatable free kick for navas, so what’ that’s football, I praised the manager on his conduct last week & I strongly feel that his behavior with the press after the game was an utter disgrace not befitting of our club, you do not represent yourself Mr pellers, you reflect all the players, staff, fans near & far who care deeply about our club, your comments about utd were embarrassing & cheap, conduct your self accordingly, we have to go to utd for a result soon, is that there team talk??, I’m disappointed by the man, I still think we can go to barca & score 3, we are a big club boys, get used to it, this is not over by anymeans, I’m not a barca fan I don’t enjoy that style of football, more passes than tony Curtis, if they knock us out well I won’t be complaining & good luck to them if they do, p.s well done zaba & Vinny good job, but please Vinny your a quality defender stop thinking your Pirlo with the long passes not your job mate, Sergio are you getting ready kido??

    • Timothy Reid 20/02/2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Milner was serving a 1 match ban.

  8. Crispy 19/02/2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Milner for Kolorov; Nasri for Navas. Same formation though.

    VK played really well but played Messi onside for the goal and hit several Hollywood balls that didn’t come off. If it was Lescott there instead of MD then the same outcome (penalty) would no doubt have occurred. Most papers raved about VK, ignored his poor positioning for the penalty and slated MD. Strange.

    As for playing Lescott instead – that back pass that went out for a corner was everything about him, the Premier League, and why England won’t win a World Cup in a nutshell! He looked so ou of his depth. Great for certain Premier League games but last 16 of the Champions League against Barca? Please.

  9. joshmcfc 19/02/2014 at 10:48 pm #

    Milner was banned people

  10. Kiwiblue 20/02/2014 at 4:08 am #

    Man I think I must’ve been watching a different game to most, I thought mp’s tactics were bang on, let barca have possession(no team in the world can change that) then counter attack hard and fast. I felt kolarov slowed us down and due to his one footed game he lost the ball far too much. I thought we had the edge first half, and when we were down to 10 men showed a lot of grit and determination, could have easily gotten back to 1-1..

    Anyways we were a tad unlucky, but in all fairness they deserved the win. I thought silva was incredible. He was holding play up when needed and attacking when needed, then helping the defense on occasion too. I don’t think I saw him waste the ball. Negredo was definitely the right striker choice, gutted he didn’t score off navas’ cross, looked like a simple finish but that’s football. Anyways, I’m still proud and we are definitely improving so I feel we can take a lot from it as well as a little disappointment.


  11. bluebooooooooom 20/02/2014 at 4:53 pm #

    the manchster evening news
    Surely it is time for those few City fans who still get the paper to boycott it.More importantly it is time for those of us who work in business to support an advertising boycott.

  12. Ryan 20/02/2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Think we would’ve been better off starting Jovetic instead of Kolarov, and just go for it. That’s just how I prefer we always play though no matter the opponent–attack attack attack- rather go for it and lose on the counter 3 nil , than play cautiously and have little numbers/possession upfield. Regardless I think we didnt play too poorly and we are a much better team with Pellegrini, we’ve proven we can at least hold our own against sides like Bayern and Barca. Can’t wait for Kun to come back.

  13. costarica 20/02/2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Thought we played pretty well overall and one individual error cost us the game. On another day we could have won. It’s Barcelona FFS not Norwich – what do people expect? That we’re just gonna roll em over! These guys know how to win and if you challenge them for the ball they con a free kick every time. Don’t rule us out in the second leg. We all know what our first team is capable of when it all clicks together. And I’m glad MP blew his top, even it was a bit misplaced. I hope it buys a bit of impartiality at the Nou Camp. Everybody knows Barcelona, Munich and the Stretfords receive outrageous favouritism in Europe. Heads up and onwards we go.

    • Siamack 20/02/2014 at 9:36 pm #

      >>It’s Barcelona FFS not Norwich – what do people expect?

      You want to play with Big boys and win Champions league, you start thinking like one and you expect to win! for as long as you do not have this expectation, you keep losing to them because they are going to be Barcelona FFS and nothing ain’t going to change that.

      • costarica 20/02/2014 at 11:17 pm #

        It means with two well matched teams – that you may expect to win but it doesn’t always work out that way… and so it was the other night. Like I said we played well and we’re still in it despite a two goal deficit. Stop beating yourself up over it.

  14. GREEK @box_to_box42 on Twitter 22/02/2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Kompany’s rating was way too high given that he is at fault in the highlight of the game.

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