A Lionel Messi penalty and a late Dani Alves strike gave Barcelona a comfortable 2-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium while Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice to leave Paris Saint-Germain on course for the quarter-finals after their 4-0 win at ten-man Bayer Leverkusen.
After a goalless first half in Manchester the match and tie turned in the 53rd minute when City defender Martín Demichelis was sent off for pulling down Lionel Messi when he was through on Joe Hart. Messi scored from resultant penalty kick leaving City with a mountain to climb in the round of 16 second leg on 12 March.
But credit to City, but they did create chances with only 10-men and Victor Valdes had to make a couple of really good saves in the second half to deny City. Then in added time, Neymar threaded a great ball for Dani Alves to score and all but wrap up the tie.
That second goal from Alves was the killer. At 1-0, Man City still had a chance to go to the Camp Nou and win 2-1 in the second leg. But I cannot see them going their and winning by two goals.
In Germany, Bayer Leverkusen were second best to PSG all night. Leverkusen’s miserable night started less than two minutes into the game when captain Simon Rolfes lost possession in midfield, Matuidi fed Ibrahimovic out the flank and the Swedish striker’s pass found Marco Verratti in space.
The Italian right winger put a superbly timed ball in behind the Leverkusen defence which Matuidi slotted home.
Any hopes Bayer had of getting back in the game vanished in a three minute spell before halftime. First Spahić pulled down Ezequiel Lavezzi in the area and Ibrahimović coolly converted from the spot. Then Matuidi found Ibrahimović just outside the box and Ibra made no mistake, scoring his 10th Champions League goal of the season.
Cabaye then added the fourth on 88 minutes with PSG players lining up to score as the Leverkusen defence once again ripped apart.