MANCHESTER, England (REUTERS) - Barcelona took control of their Champions League round of 16 tie against 10-man Manchester City on Tuesday when they won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a Lionel Messi penalty and a late strike from Dani Alves.
Messi, tripped by Martin Demichelis on the edge of the box, which earned the defender a red card, scored after 54 minutes to give the four-time European champions the lead over City, who were playing in the knockout rounds for the first time.
Alves scored in stoppage time when he shot through the legs of City goalkeeper Joe Hart after a marauding run down the right.
The visitors dominated the opening 20 minutes and finished far stronger against City, who seemed overawed by the occasion.
The two sides, who had scored 228 goals between them this season, failed to produce the goalfest that many expected.
The two away goals Barcelona did score have given them a huge advantage going into the second leg on March 12.