It’s hard to imagine Guardiola’s half-time team talk consisted of much more than “the same again” and City duly started the second half in identical fashion.
Just five minutes into the second half, City took the lead. Busquets’ foul on Silva 30 yards from goal hardly
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looked like the opportune moment to score, but De Bruyne thought otherwise.
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The Belgian, behind everything City did well on the evening, hit a dipping free-kick that Marc-André ter Stegen could only get fingertips too.
With the players on a high and the Etihad booming, City started to turn the screw.
Aguero saw a long-range strike fizz just past the post, before De Bruyne’s free-kicks caused havoc inside the Barcelona area as Nicolas Otamendi and Aguero were inches away from getting telling touches.
Despite a long period of sustained pressure, City was well aware of the danger Barcelona, in particular Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, posed on the break.
It was with as much relief as elation, then, when Gundogan got his second to double the home side’s lead.
Another inch perfect through ball from De Bruyne found substitute Jesus Navas, whose cross ricocheted off Aguero as he lay on the floor and fell into the path of Gundogan to fire home.Men’s Reebok Montreal Canadiens 14 Tomas Plekanec Authentic Away White Alternate Captain Patch NHL Jersey.
In truth, Barcelona rarely looked like troubling the scoreboard from there and its best chance came courtesy of John Stones.
After brilliantly winning the ball back, the English defender erratically played a through ball to Suarez whose square pass found André Gomes, but the Portuguese could only rattle the crossbar.
Gundogan echoed De Bruyne’s post-match comments, although was keen to emphasize tonight’s performance wasn’t too dissimilar to the 4-0 defeat two weeks ago.
“We started a big nervous, especially the first 20 or 30 minutes,” the German said.
“But after our goal, which was really good, we got our confidence back and the second half was incredible,
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we dominated Barcelona and had chances to score. The result was more than deserved.”
“Everybody knows the style we play and even for Barcelona we try to do the same. Obviously it’s difficult against them, we did it in Barcelona and had a little less luck but today everything fell for us.”
And to cap off a perfect evening for Guardiola, in Group C’s other clash, Celtic earned a surprise draw away at Borussia Moenchengladbach to leave City just two points behind Barcelona and three clear of the third-placed German side.
November has rarely been a happy month for Arsene Wenger.
As the nights draw in and a winter chill arrives, you could be forgiven for thinking Arsenal seemingly suffer from seasonal affective disorder.
Since taking charge of the London club two decades ago, no month has reaped fewer points on average for
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Wenger than November.
On a bitterly cold night in Bulgaria, with Arsenal 2-0 to Ludogorets inside just 15 minutes, those Gunners fans present got a familiar sinking feeling.
Much has been made of this Arsenal team’s resilience in the face of adversity, something it has lacked time and again over the years.
That sentiment, however, was lent further credence as Wenger’s men hauled themselves level before half time, thanks to goals from Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud.
Although they had to wait until two minutes from time before finally taking the lead.
Mesut Ozil magically lifted the ball over keeper Milan Borjan, before almost impudent composure in front of goal left two Ludogorets defenders prostrate for the German to roll into an empty net.
The importance of that strike was made all the more important as news of a late Paris Saint-Germain winner filtered through.
Arsenal remains on course to finish first and avoid the difficult last 16 draws it has suffered over the years as a result of finishing second.
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A Robert Lewandowski-inspired Bayern Munich also came from behind to narrowly beat a resilient PSV side.
Santiago Arias’ early strike gave the Dutch side a surprise lead, before a penalty and clinical
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Bayern the three points.
Atletico Madrid had Antoine Griezmann to thank, after his brace earned the Spanish side a win over Russian’s FC Rostov.
The Frenchman’s acrobatic opening goal was canceled out by Iranian forward Serdar Azmoun, before an
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injury time strike kept Atletico three points clear of Bayern at the top of Group D.