On the surface this looks like an irredeemable tie for Manchester City. They were outplayed in Manchester so there is no obvious reason to suggest that they can dominate in Barcelona.
But Manchester City were poor in the first leg. They don’t need to, or even expect to, control possession in the Camp Nou this week – what they must ensure, if they are to have any chance at all of progressing to the quarters, is that they use the ball wisely. When they have possession they have to make it count.
Furthermore, Barcelona are no longer unbeatable. They have found form and stability again over the last few months but any team would rather play this Barcelona than the one who didn’t give the ball away for about three years at the end of the last decade.
Manchester City lost at Burnley at the weekend and are looking decidedly dodgy right now. But wouldn’t it just be typical of this wildly unpredictable game if Manchester City could come away from Barcelona with a smash and grab win?
Manchester City shouldn’t feel too much pressure at any rate. They aren’t expected to progress but are expected to play with freedom and better quality in the second leg.
For our money it’s all about the first goal. If City can get it then the complexion of the tie changes. But a 1-0 advantage to Barcelona and the tie will be over.