Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:08 pm
Luis Suarez marked his return to England with a brace to help Barcelona claim a 2-1 win over Manchester City in a UEFA Champions! League round of 16 first leg match at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Having scored just goal in six appearances against Man. City while at Liverpool, Suarez was at his clinical best to give Barça the upperhand going into the second leg at the Nou Camp in a fortnight.
Barcelona dominated early proceedings but waited until the 18th minute to take the lead through Suarez who hit a first time shot past Joe Hart after a ball over the top from Lionel Messi deflected off Vincent Kompany onto his path.
Edin Džeko; who started alongside Sergio Agüero in a two-man attack for City, headed the home side’s first sniff of the Barça goal just wide midway through the first half.
Suarez was then denied by Hart in the 26th minute after the Uruguayan was put through on goal by a Neymar pass, but he didn’t have to wait long for his second which came on the half-hour mark.
Messi worked his way through a number of City players before finding Jordi Alba whose ball into the area was turned in by a sliding Suarez.
Barcelona should have wrapped the tie up in the minutes that followed, but Neymar saw his lobbed effort cleared off the line by Pablo Zabaleta while Messi denied by Hart 10 minutes before the break.
Hart was beaten again by a looped effort but again, Barcelona failed to score as Dani Alves’ effort came off the bar a minute before the break while Samir Nasri’s effort – City’s first shot on target – was kept out by Marc Andre Ter-Stegen on the stroke of half-time.
City began the second half in buoyant manner, winning three corner kicks in the opening four minutes and going close twice through Dźeko, who headed just wide before shooting straight at Ter-Stegen.
Agüero flashed a curling effort just wide in the 54th minute, Demichelis headed straight at Ter-Stagen two minutes later while Džeko saw another header go just wide in the 66th as City pushed on for a goal back.
That goal deservedly came with 20 minutes to go when Agüero picked up a loose ball and beat off Javier Mascherano’s challenge before slotting over an onrushing Ter-Stegen and give City hope in the tie.
That hope quickly faded five minutes later when Gäel Clichy – already suspended for the second leg – picked up a red card for a foul on Dani Alves.
And Barcelona could have ended the night with a two-goal win after Zabaleta fell Messi in the area in stoppage time, only for the latter to see his ensuing penalty kept out by Hart before heading the rebound wide of an open goal.
Meanwhile in Tuesday night’s other Champions League match, Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata scored for Juventus in a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.
Tevez gave the Italian champions a 13th minute lead, tapping in from close range after Dortmund goalkeeper Weidenfeller fumbled Morata’s cross-shot.
The lead was shortlived however as Marco Reus equalised for Dortmund five minutes later after taking advantage of a defensive mix up between Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci to score.
The goal sparked a dominant spell for Dortmund, with Nuri Sahin going closest to giving the visitors the lead only to see his long range effort kept out by Gianluigi Buffon just after the half-hour mark.
Much against the run of play however, Juve retook the lead through Morata just before half-time and held on to the advantage until the final whistle.