Messi Punishes Guardiola, Man City

Lionel Messi was in his mercurial best scoring a hat-trick as Barcelona punished 10-man Manchester City in the Champions League on Pep Guardiola’s return to his old club.

City were competitive in the first half, but made far too many errors against a ruthless Barcelona revelling in Messi’s return from injury.

A Fernandinho slip inside his own box put Messi clear for his first, then Kevin de Bruyne lost possession allowing Andres Iniesta to set up the Argentine for a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.

The evening got worse for the visitors when goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off for handling outside the box and minutes later Messi struck again.

Barcelona were also reduced to 10 men in the last 15 minutes as substitute Jeremy Mathieu was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Raheem Sterling, but by then the damage had been done.

Willy Caballero saved a late Neymar penalty – but the Brazilian scored from open play minutes later to complete a comprehensive win for the La Liga side.

The victory maintained Barcelona’s 100% start in Group C and extended their lead over City to five points.

It was the first time City had conceded four times in the competition and another miserable return to the Nou Camp for Guardiola. During his celebrated four-year tenure as Barcelona manager the Catalan won 14 trophies, but he has now twice lost heavily to the Spaniards – the other being a 3-0 first-leg semi-final defeat with Bayern Munich.

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