By DAN ITEL
Barcelona got just what they needed — and then some — in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup Wednesday against Manchester City, gutting out a 2-1 result at Camp Nou for a 4-1 aggregate win.
Buffeted by their 2-0 win two weeks ago in the first leg on Man City’s home ground thanks to goals by Lionel Messi and Dani Alves, Barcelona put in a stellar defensive performance and got insurance goals from the same two once again in front of nearly 86,000 supporters. The win moves Barcelona into the Champions League semifinals.
Man City, without manager Manuel Pelligrini as he served a suspension for criticizing the referees after the first leg, were only able to manage a Vincent Kompany goal in the 89th minute.
Messi opened the scoring in the 67th minute when he snuck behind City’s defense for a clever chip to the far corner. Kompany pulled one back for the visitors off a corner kick, only to see Barcelona finish things off when Alves smashed home an Andrés Iniesta cross.
PSG CRUISE ONCE AGAIN FOR SERIES WIN OVER LEVERKUSEN
There may have been little question heading into Paris Saint-Germain’s clash Wednesday against Bayer Leverkusen in the second leg of a Champions League Round of 16 tie, but PSG left no doubt after a 2-1 win at Parc des Princes that sees the Parisians to the quarterfinals on 6-1 aggregate.
A Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace in the first leg in Germany had the Ligue 1 leaders entering the game with a huge advantage on a home pitch where they have suffered just one loss since November 2012. Goals by Marquinhos and Ezequiel Lavezzi left no hope for the visitors, despite a game-opening strike by Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam.
Sam nodded home the game’s opening goal in the sixth minute on a Giulio Donati cross, giving the German side just the start they needed.
But there would be no magic on this night, as PSG quickly answered through a 13th-minute corner kick that Marquinhos nodded in. PSG added on in the 53rd minute when Lucas Digne cut back nicely to Lavezzi, who slotted inside the near post.
The draw for the quarterfinals round will take place March 21.
What do you think of those results? Think PSG has what it takes to win it all, or are Barcelona the favorites?
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