It was a slow start to the second leg of Barcelona and Man City's Champions League round of 16 tie, but in the final 45 minutes it came to life. And not in the way City needed to overcome their 2-0 disadvantage from the first leg.
Despite a rumor last week that City were planning to offer €200 million for Lionel Messi this summer — perhaps in a weak attempt to distract Barca ahead of the second leg — the Champions League's second highest scorer of all time added to Barca's lead in the 67th minute with a chip over City goalkeeper Joe Hart that was set up by a miscue from City defender Joleon Lescott. The situation then got even worse for City when Edin Dzeko was denied a penalty shout and Pablo Zabaleta was booked a second time for arguing, reducing them to 10 men in the 78th minute.
Vincent Kompany scored in the 89th minute, giving City a slim hope of mimicking Chelsea's last-minute comeback with 10 men at the Camp Nou, but Dani Alves soon killed that idea by restoring Barca's three goal lead in the first minute of injury time.
And so, City lost 4-1 on aggregate, once again keeping them from reaching the final rounds of the Champions League despite all their spending. The above image of Pablo Zabaleta's pained scream after missing a shot and James Milner helplessly imitating his reaction in the background sums up the club's Champions League fortunes rather perfectly.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have so far been joined in the quarterfinals by PSG, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid. But none of them have the Capital One Cup.
- - - - - - -