Luis Suarez showed the Premier League just what it’s been missing with a devastating double that gave Barcelona a 2-1 lead over 10-man Manchester City in the first-leg of their last-16 tie at the Etihad Stadium.
The former Liverpool star moved to the Nou Camp in the summer and gave a timely reminder of his talents with a pair of clinical finishes that leave Manuel Pellegrini’s side’s hopes of making the last eight hanging by a thread. The Uruguayan’s first was a sizzling reaction shot after his flick-on deflected back to him off Vincent Kompany while his second was a poacher’s finish inside the six-yard box following lovely build-up play between Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba.
Dani Alves then clipped the bar with an audacious effort and Joe Hart brilliantly thwarted both Suarez and Messi as the visitors completely bossed the first half. City desperately needed a response and improved after the break with Edin Dzeko heading a gilt-edged opportunity straight at Marc-Andre ter Stegen before Sergio Aguero drilled inches wide.
The hosts’ Argentine hitman wasn’t to be denied though and lifted a wonderful effort into the net from David Silva’s delightful flick to give the Citizens hope. But it all-but evaporated soon after when Gael Clichy received a second yellow for a foul on Alves leaving Barca to see out what was looking like a nervy finale with a man advantage. Messi saw a late penalty saved but City know they have it all to do to turn around this tie.