Ilkay Gundogan scored either side of Kevin De Bruyne’s curling free kick to help Manchester City come from behind to beat Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League, as Pep Guardiola got the better of his old club on Tuesday. Lionel Messi’s 90th goal in Europe’s top club competition gave Barcelona a 21st-minute lead, but City was rampant after Gundogan’s equalizer in the 39th.
It was a landmark win for City over a team that the English club has modelled itself on since becoming a major force in the game after an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008. And it was a satisfying one for Guardiola, who coached Barca to 14 trophies between 2008-12.
City’s pressing was relentless in the second half, forcing errors from Barcelona’s makeshift defense and holding midfielder Sergio Busquets, and De Bruyne was at the heart of everything.
The Belgium playmaker whipped home a 25-meter free kick in the 51st minute to put City 2-1 up and then provided a stunning through-ball in the lead-up to the third goal, slammed in by Gundogan from close range in the 74th after the ball fell at his feet off the arm of Sergio Aguero.
City had lost all five of its meetings with Barcelona in the Champions League over the past four seasons _ including a 4-0 defeat at Camp Nou two weeks ago.
Barcelona missed the chance to secure progress to the last 16 with two games to spare, and is now two points clear of City. Guardiola’s team should advance with a draw at third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach in round five.