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There’s no need to feel too much doom and gloom in the wake of FC Barcelona’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City in Tuesday’s Champions League group game. It’s never nice to lose, but the Catalans are still a massive three points clear at the top of Group C and well poised not only to qualify for the last sixteen, but to do so as group winners.
Here’s a selection of key facts and stats from last night’s game
- First defeat in two years. Barça had not lost a Champions League group stage match since losing 3-2 to PSG at the Parc des Princes in 2014/15.
- End to winning record in England: Barça were chasing a fourth consecutive win on English soil (including two wins against Manchester City) but that great run has been ended.
- Top of the group. Barça still lead the way in Group C with nine points, and a draw in Glasgow against Celtic would be enough to ensure they qualify for the last sixteen, while a win would mean they’d be sure to finish top.
- Messi top scorer. After opening the scoring at the City of Manchester, Messi has seven goals in the Champions League this season, making him top scorer at this stage.
- Messi hits City again: The last six goals that Barça have scored against Manchester City have all featured Leo Messi in some way, with four goals and two assists. The Argentinian has scored 16 goals in his last 14 games against Premiership opposition.
- Neymar Jr leads assists. The Brazilian laid on the brilliant pass that led to Messi’s goal and that’s was his sixth assist of the Champions League season, putting him top of Europe in that category.
- Goals on the road. Barça have scored away from home in 21 consecutive trips in the Champions League.
- André Gomes, omnipresent. This was one of the Portuguese midfielder’s best games in a Barça shirt. Careful in defence, active in playmaking and lively up front, his shot onto the City crossbar would have made it 2-2 had he scored.
- Ter Stegen equals Zubizarreta. The German goalkeeper was appearing in his 27th consecutive Champions League match. He’s featured in every FCB game since 2014, thereby matching the record of Andoni Zubizarreta in what was known as the European Cup at the time, from 1991 to 1994.
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