Lionel Messi showed his old coach Pep Guardiola no mercy as Manchester City’s 10 men were swept aside by Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
Messi punished City’s mistakes to score a hat-trick — his 37th for the club — and set up a goal for Neymar in a 4-0 win after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.
Guardiola said: ‘It’s always difficult to play Barcelona with 11 players, with 10 the game was over. Until then the game was well balanced. We know Barca, their strikers punish you. When Messi, Neymar and Suarez attack you it’s very complicated. We played with personality and were brave.’
Pep Guardiola’s return to former club Barcelona ended in another defeat
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and set up another for Neymar as Barca won 4-0
But former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, speaking on ITV about the way Guardiola encourages Bravo to bring the ball out from the back, said: ‘City’s approach to the game was very brave but very stupid as well.
‘Everyone wants to see good football but it’s your decision when to play and when to clear you lines. Clearly City got punished for the number of mistakes they made.’
City’s chances were effectively ended after Claudio Bravo was sent off in the second half
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane branded City’s approach ‘brave but stupid’
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Bravo was signed to replace Joe Hart because of his passing skills but was sent off in the 53rd minute for deliberate handball after gifting possession to Luis Suarez.
However, Guardiola insisted that he will not alter his style of play, saying: ‘No change, it stays the same.
Until the last day of my career as a coach I will try to play from our goalkeeper. I spoke with him, he was disappointed but it’s part of the game. I don’t have doubts about him.’
Guardiola insists Sergio Aguero (left) is fine after starting the game on the bench
The Spanish boss has gone four games without a win for only the third time in his career
The City boss sprang a surprise by leaving his leading scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench until late on but insisted there is no issue with the striker. ‘He didn’t warm up but it’s OK,’
Guardiola said. ‘I wanted one more midfield player in that position, that’s the reason why. The decision was made this afternoon. I spoke with him and he was good.’
Guardiola’s record defeat — his Bayern Munich side also lost 4-0 against Real Madrid in 2014 — means he has gone four games without a win for only the third time in his career.