Global Sports : Messi Clanger Stuns Hart

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Joe Hart was left stunned as Lionel Messi missed an open goal after his penalty was saved in Barcelona’s 2-1 win at Manchester City.
Luis Suarez scored twice before Sergio Aguero pulled one back for the hosts, but Messi wasted the chance to restore Barcelona’s two-goal lead as Hart saved his spot-kick before he headed the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.
Aguero’s goal and Messi’s miss have given Manuel Pellegrini’s team a slim chance of progressing to the last eight of the Champions League, and Hart is hopeful his late heroics have an impact on the tie.
“I hope it proves to be important, just as important as the open goal that was missed straight after it!” he told Sky Sports News HQ.
“I can’t decorate the save, it was not that good, but these little things can hopefully turn tides.”
City lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the same stage of the competition last season, and the night looked to be going in a similar direction as the visitors dominated the first half with some excellent attacking football.
But the hosts’ second-half rally makes things interesting for the return leg on March 18, where Pellegrini’s men know they need to perform better than they have done all season.
Asked how much belief they have that the tie is not over yet, Hart said: “Loads of belief. First half, up until the first goal, we were in the game, but Barcelona took their goals well.
“Other than that, we stayed in the game, and I have not been overly busy all night.
“It was a great goal from Sergio and we had other chances. We go home with a chance.”
City’s momentum was halted shortly after Aguero’s goal when Gael Clichy was sent off for a second yellow card – something Hart was not particularly happy about.
“It seems to be standard procedure for us against Barcelona,” he added. “Very harsh with the sendings off.
“The ref has to make decisions, he has made them tonight, we are obviously not happy with them, but we have moved forward and stayed in the game.
“With 11 men I am sure we would have put a lot more pressure on their goal but we go to the Nou Camp a goal behind.”

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