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City finally breaks its duck against Barca

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League group C match against Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League group C match against Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Dave Thompson

PEP Guardiola has got the better of his old club, with Manchester City coming from behind to defeat Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League.

It was a landmark victory for City over a European powerhouse that the English club has tried to model itself on since it too became a major force in the game following an Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.

And it was a particularly satisfying one for the manager, Guardiola, who coached Barca to 14 trophies between 2008 and 2012.

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 a fortnight ago.

Barcelona missed the chance to 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.

Lionel Messi's 90th goal in Europe's top club competition gave the visiting Barcelona a 21st-minute lead, but the hosts were rampant after Ilkay Gundogan's equaliser in the 39th.

City's pressing was relentless in the second half, forcing errors from Barcelona's makeshift defence and holding midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Kevin De Bruyne slotted home a 25-metre 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.

Arsenal sealed its place in the knockout stage of the Champions League after coming back from two goals down to grab a late 3-2 victory at Ludogorets.

Topics:  barcelona fc champions league manchester city pep guardiola