Guardiola’s return to his former club, FC Barcelona was a night mare to him and the entire Citizens. This was a UEFA Champions League (UCL) clash between Guardiola’s former club, Barca and his new side Man City played on Wednesday, 19 Oct. 2016 at Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi scored a hatrick as The Citizens gifted Guardiola’s former side a 4-0 victory. Messi opened the scoring at the 17th minute with a fine finish and then added two more at the 61st and 69th minute after Claudio Bravo was sent off at the 53rd minute for a hand ball following his error with the ball at his feet. Neymar sealed the day with a stunner at the 89th minute to put the icing on the cake which ensured that the Citizens were well beaten.
The game was 50/50 at the first half but hell broke loose for The Citizens at the second half after they started to continuously make errors which exposed them to a ruthless Messi who was just returning from a minor injury. What added more plight to the visitors was the sending off of their goal keeper after which gave City a man deficit and an exposure to the hosts attacking trio. Barcelona were also reduced to a man down at the last 15 minutes after Raheem Sterling was fouled by Jeremy Mathieu but by this time The Citizens were far from recovering.
Sergio Aguero started on the bench as De Bruyne was given the role to lead City’s attacking line supported by David Silva, Nolito and Raheem Sterling. However choosing De Bruyne over Aguero surprised many football pundits but these four were effective in the first half as they crowded the mid field and pressed Barca hard.
The defeat is The Citizens’ worst in Guardiola’s era with the Premier League leaders now winless in four matches and ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League with only goal d0ifference.