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UEFA Champions League

Lionel Messi's four encounters with Pep Guardiola's team and how he fared.

Lionel Messi had incredible success at Barcelona under Pep Guardiola, but how has he done when the two are on opposite teams?

In the Champions League group stage, Messi will once again face his former manager, as PSG has been drawn against Manchester City.

"How should we proceed?" When questioned about PSG's front three of Messi, Neymar, and Julian Mbappe, Guardiola answered, "I don't know." "With this level of quality, I'm not sure how I'm going to stop them; they're so good."

It's extremely difficult to maintain control when you have this much talent. When we have the ball, we must defend well and not allow them to run, but this is extremely difficult."

We looked at the four occasions Messi has played against a Guardiola-coached squad in the past.

Barcelona against Bayern Munich (3-0)

Guardiola became Bayern Munich manager a year after leaving Barcelona in 2012, and faced his former club for the first time in the 2014-15 Champions League semi-finals.

Unfortunately for Guardiola, Messi was in unstoppable form, having scored 51 goals in his previous 50 outings before the first leg of the semi-final.

Before the game, Guardiola claimed, "There is no system or coach that can stop a talent of Messi's magnitude." "You can't stop him the way he's been playing for the past four or five months. He's really too talented."

Barcelona appeared to be in for a tough night at the Camp Nou until Messi scored in the 77th minute from the edge of the box.

Later, the Argentine international created a magical moment, spinning Jerome Boateng inside and out before dinking the ball over Manuel Neuer.

In the final seconds, as Guardiola's team pushed forward in search of an away goal, Messi set up Neymar, who made it 3-0 to the hosts.

Barcelona against Bayern Munich (2-3)

Barcelona enjoyed a comfortable advantage over Bayern entering the semi-final second leg at the Allianz Arena, having won 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

When Madhi Benatia scored in the seventh minute, the Germans had a sense of hope, but it didn't last long.

In the 15th minute, Messi picked up the ball and delivered a brilliantly weighted pass to Luis Suarez, who then squared for Neymar to score from close range.

Suarez also set up Neymar's second goal, which was followed by goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller in the second half.

Barcelona won 5-3 on aggregate and reached the champions League final, where they would go on to beat juventus and secure a second treble.

Manchester City against Barcelona (0-4)

Guardiola was appointed as Man City's manager in 2016 and his new side were immediately drawn against Barcelona in the champions League group stage.

During the game at Camp Nou in October 2016, Messi took advantage of Fernandinho's slip in the penalty area to give Barcelona the lead in the 17th minute.

The floodgates opened when Claudio Bravo, who had recently joined City from Barcelona, was sent off for handling the ball outside the box.

Messi doubled their lead in the 61st minute, smashing the ball past compatriot Willy Caballero with a crisp finish from the edge of the box

The diminutive forward completed his 37th club hat-trick eight minutes later, scoring from close range after being picked out by Suarez.

He also showed off his incredible feet by winning a penalty, only for Neymar to miss the ensuing penalty attempt. Messi was still credited with an assist in the 89th minute, when he set up the Brazil international.

"He's always done stuff like that since I've known him, and he keeps doing it," Guardiola remarked after the game. "This isn't the first time he's done it; I've seen him do it live many times before, but you have to applaud him."

Barcelona against Manchester city (1-3)

At the Etihad in November 2016, Messi made it six goals in four games against Guardiola by finishing off a fantastic counter-attacking move.

But City bounced back quickly after the early setback, with Raheem Sterling setting up Ilkay Gundogan for the equalizer six minutes before halftime.

Guardiola's tactics were spot on, as the Barcelona front three of Messi, Neymar, and Suarez were kept relatively quiet in the second half.

With a wonderful free-kick, Kelvin de Bruyne put City ahead before Gundogan scored his second goal of the game to give City their first ever win over Barcelona.

Content created and supplied by: Dwanemw (via Opera News )

Champions League Lionel Messi Manchester City Neymar Pep Guardiola


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