Claudio Bravo – 4
A couple of really good saves in the first half and also looking comfortable in possession, especially with a great pass to bypass Suarez. The same couldn’t be said for his second half attempt to bypass the Uruguayan – absolutely unnecessary handball that went no way to helping our cause. Stupid.
Pablo Zabaleta – 6.5
Looked useful when he was positioning himself inside, often swapping out wide with Otamendi as we saw at Old Trafford. Caught out a couple of times by Neymar but won a few key tackles out wide to halt Barca breaks. Injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.
John Stones – 6
A couple of really good interceptions early in the first half and looked good on the ball until the first goal and went on to miss a really simple header. Reacted slowly to the Gundogan back pass for the 3rd goal for was left exposed by a lack of numbers for part of the second half.
Nicolas Otamendi – 8 (Man of the Match)
Along with Sterling, our stand out performer. Several key interceptions and some really important blocks and tackles. Moved out wide to cover for Zaba’s lack of pass effectively and played the ball well out of defence. A completely contrasting performance to his last CL appearance.
Aleksandar Kolarov – 6.5
A couple of important interceptions, perhaps a little bit wasteful in possession and very rash in the box when sliding in on Messi, giving away a penalty. Appeared a fair bit more solid than in previous outings but looked out of his depth when moved to centre back, understandably.
Fernandinho – 6
Like a lot of our players tonight, Fernandinho suffered from a complete lack of a break. He was pretty poor in possession, his intentions were good but nothing seemed to come off for him. He was overrun in the second half and couldn’t run at the vital moment in the first half when he slipped and Messi took advantage.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
Some really good runs, most notably one in the first half where he slipped through the defensive line and getting a shot away but Ter Stegen got down well to save. A couple of really incisive passes, including a through ball to De Bruyne in the second half but a poor back pass to Stones let Suarez in to square to Messi. Just like many of our players, one simple but costly mistake has undermined a lot of good work.
David Silva – 6
Never really got himself going. He was tracked really well by Busquets and Rakitic all game and was left searching for options on more than one occasion. Did really well in the first half with some good movement and managed to free Nolito.
Raheem Sterling – 8
Struggled after Alba went off after a very positive opening 15 minutes. Really grew into the game as it went on and again looked our most likely source of positivity with driving runs which committed Barca’s backline, most notably Mattieu who saw red after diving in on the winger on two occasions. These CL nights are really suiting him at the moment.
Nolito – 7
Great positioning out wide as always, looking to make the most of almost any break and retaining the ball well for the side. Might’ve done better with a few opportunities going forward but didn’t really have the options to play to in the middle. Substituted due to red card and Zaba circumstances.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6.5
I felt he was lost in the first half, he never really managed to link up with Silva and struggled with sharing space with Sterling out wide too. Had a good effort saved by Ter Stegen after being put through by Gundogan but looked more comfortable when starting a little deeper. Without Aguero in front of him he couldn’t seem to link up properly with anyone as well as he normally does.
Willy Caballero – 7
A really good stop to deny Neymar at the back post and again denied the Brasilian from the penalty spot. Not at fault for any of the goals, looked a bit more comfortable on the ball but will be tested further in the return match.
Gael Clichy – 6
Brought on in unfortunate circumstances but could do little to steady a rocking ship. A few surging runs down the line but lacked accuracy in the pass at the vital moment.
Sergio Aguero – N/A
Too late to mark.
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[statsfc-player-rater key=”D8SJIk7F6vySBuDaFQRSHy11xfbyCt18uXRinj2b” team=”Man City” date=”2016-10-19″ default_css=”true”]