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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Luis Suarez marked his return to England by scoring both of Barcelona's goals in a 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, putting the Spanish club within sight of the quarterfinals for an eighth straight year.

February 24, 2015

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Luis Suarez marked his return to England by scoring both of Barcelona's goals in a 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday, putting the Spanish club within sight of the quarterfinals for an eighth straight year.

However, Barcelona could live to regret Lionel Messi having a penalty saved in the final seconds of the last-16 first leg at Etihad Stadium.

Suarez, who joined from Liverpool for $130 million last summer, scored close-range goals in the 16th and 30th minutes as Barca controlled the first half.

City improved considerably after the break and Sergio Aguero slotted in a 69th-minute goal after fine build-up play. City's momentum in the second half stalled when defender Gael Clichy was sent off in the 73rd for getting a second yellow card.

In the night's other first-leg match, Juventus beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Turin.

City lost 4-1 on aggregate to Barca at the same stage last season — and had a player sent off in both legs.

Messi could have put the match virtually beyond City when he won a penalty for a foul by Argentina teammate Pablo Zabaleta. But the Champions League's all-time leading scorer — with 75 goals — saw his spot kick parried away by City goalkeeper Joe Hart, and then headed the rebound wide with the goal at his mercy.

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Watch: Luis Suarez scores twice in Barcelona's UCL clash with Man City

It was a dramatic end to an absorbing match that began with Barca toying with its opponent. City played into Barcelona's hands by deploying a 4-4-2 formation, allowing the visitors to dominate midfield, and was lucky to only be two goals behind at halftime.

With seven goals in 22 appearances for Barca, Suarez has been steady — if not spectacular — in his first season in Spain and has been looking for a big game to announce his arrival at the club. All it needed was a return to England.

Showing the instincts that made him so lethal at Liverpool, the reigning player of the year in England pounced on a poor headed clearance by City captain Vincent Kompany and swept a low left-foot finish past the stranded Hart to cap a confident start from Barcelona.

For the remainder of the half, Barca gave City a lesson in finding space, keeping possession and slicing a defense apart. The hosts were run ragged. The "oles" from the small section of Barca supporters began in the 23rd minute.

Suarez was denied by the legs of Hart after another sweeping length-of-the-field move that had its origins with Messi nutmegging David Silva midway in the Barca half. But the striker didn't have to wait long for his second goal, as Messi drifted through two tackles and passed to Jordi Alba, whose delayed cross was glanced in by a sliding Suarez.

Neymar's lob was cleared off the line and Dani Alves' mis-hit cross bounced off the crossbar as Barca continued to create openings at will before halftime.

City started the second half with much more purpose, and should have scored from one of three chances in the first five minutes. An unmarked Edin Dzeko headed straight at goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Aguero curled wide from just inside the box and Martin Demichelis was also denied by Ter Stegen.

With Barca lacking intensity, City became the dominant team and reduced the deficit when Aguero sped onto a deft layoff from Silva, burst between two defenders and shot high into the net from 12 meters.

Clichy had already been booked in the 59th for a foul on Ivan Rakitic when he went in late and high on Alves. He held his hands up but his protests didn't stop referee Felix Brych from showing a second yellow.

Fellow full back Zabaleta exacerbated Clichy's mistake by giving away the last-minute penalty, but Hart's save gave City hope for the second leg on March 18 at the Camp Nou.

 

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