It’s fair to say this won’t have been the glorious return to Barcelona that Pep Guardiola envisaged.
The Manchester City boss knew he had a task on his hands when he faced his old club with the Sky Blues for the first time, but he saw his players humbled by the La Liga giants in spectacular fashion.
Barca went into the game as favourites, but few would have seen a 4-0 thrashing coming, courtesy of a Lionel Messi hat-trick and a late Neymar goal.
It could have been worse, too, with the latter missing a penalty, but Guardiola’s side had enough lessons to learn.
However, there was still one moment in particular which the former Barca and Bayern Munich manager felt changed the game.
Referring to Claudio Bravo’s costly sending off, he told Sky Sports:
“It always difficult to play against Barcelona with 11 players so with 10 the game was over. Until then the game was open.”
After seeing Bravo dismissed for saving the ball several yards outside his box, City fans will no doubt be questioning Guardiola’s insistence on playing out from the goalkeeper, an ideal which has so far been to their peril this season.
Somehow, though, Guardiola is sticking by his philosophy, adding:
“There will be no change. It stays the same. I’m sorry, until the last day of my career as a coach I will try to play from our goalkeeper.”