Tactical Insights

City’s previous meetings with Barcelona


Manchester City will begin preparations for the 2024/25 season with a pre-season tour of the United States in July and early August.

After becoming the first men’s team in English football history to win four consecutive top-flight titles last term, we will play four matches in collaboration with FC Series, a showcase for international clubs with matches across the US.

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Having already examined our history with our first two opponents Celtic and AC Milan – we now turn attentions to Barcelona who we will face at Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida on Wednesday 31 July. 

Tickets are available for the match, while fans in the UK will be able to see it live on CITY+.

EARLY YEARS

Between the years 1952 and 1986 – City and Barcelona met on four occasions, with the Blues winning one and losing three.

The first fixture saw us soundly beaten 5-1 during a summer tour to Spain in 1952 before the Catalan giants recorded a 3-2 victory in May 1957 across another Club visit to the European country.

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Camp Nou provided the stage for the next clash in 1974 with the hosts recorded a thrilling 3-2 victory in a match which celebrated Barcelona’s 75th anniversary.

Then, in the 1986 Huelva tournament, we recorded a 4-3 penalties victory following a 1-1 draw with Clive Wilson scoring in normal time.

CITY 2-1 BARCELONA (AUGUST 2003)

Manchester City officially marked the opening of the Etihad Stadium by welcoming Barcelona to our new home in August 2003.

On an incredibly emotional day in the history of the Club, Kevin Keegan’s side locked horns with a team who included legendary figures of the sport including Ronaldinho, Marc Overmars and Xavi.

Nicolas Anelka opened the scoring in the 38th minute when he coolly slid the ball into the net before Javier Saviola equalised shortly after half-time.

Parity wasn’t restored for long, though, when Trevor Sinclair met a Sun Jihai cross to plant the ball in off the post with just over 20 minutes remaining.

BARCELONA 0-1 CITY (AUGUST 2009)

Mark Hughes’ side recorded a famous 1-0 win over the then reigning Champions League to win the Joan Gamper Trophy in pre-season at Camp Nou.

Although the hosts started strongly, City broke the deadlock in the first half when Stephen Ireland sparked a counter attack and found Martin Petrov in the final third who fired into the net.

Pep Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona on that occasion, and he turned to Lionel Messi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from the bench to force an equaliser.

BUY TICKETS FOR CITY V BARCELONA IN FLORIDA HERE 

The Argentine struck the crossbar soon after, but we delivered a strong defensive display to become only the third team in 20 years to beat Barcelona in the annual pre-season fixture at the time.

CITY 0-2 BARCELONA (FEBRUARY 2014)

The first Champions League meeting between the teams ended in a narrow defeat for the hosts in the first leg last-16 fixture.

After a goalless first half, the match was finely poised but the narrative switched on 53 minutes when Martin Demichelis was sent off for bringing down Messi inside the area – with the referee brandishing a red card and pointing for a spot kick.

The Argentine then dispatched from 12-yards before the visitors doubled their advantage late on.

BARCELONA 2-1 CITY (MARCH 2014)

Barcelona progressed into the quarter-finals of the European competition after we suffered another close defeat.

Messi scored the game’s first goal before Vincent Kompany equalised to hand the visitors a glimmer of hope of advancing.

However, Pablo Zabaleta was sent off before the hosts restored their advantage at Camp Nou.

CITY 1-2 BARCELONA (FEBRUARY 2015)

A first-half Luis Suarez brace inside 30 minutes at the Etihad gave the visitors a commanding lead at the break during the second consecutive last-16 tie between the sides.

But City improved after the break and reduced the deficit when Sergio Aguero latched onto a neat David Silva cut-back before firing past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

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Unfortunately, our momentum was halted soon after, though, when Gael Clichy was sent off after receiving a second of two yellow cards.

The evening threaten to worsen for Manuel Pellegrini’s side when Messi was fouled inside the area, but Joe Hart saved the Argentine’s penalty.

BARCELONA 1-0 CITY (MARCH 2015)

Ivan Rakitic’s goal just past the half-hour mark was enough for Barcelona to progress into the last-eight of the Champions League at City’s expense.

The Croatian produced an unstoppable lob into the net – meaning we needed two goals at Camp Nou to force extra-time.

However, Aguero saw his penalty saved after our legendary striker was fouled inside the area.

Hart’s late heroics thwarted a number of clear-cut chances when spectacularly denying a swathe of Messi attempts – but the goals we carved evaded us as we were eliminated.

BARCELONA 4-0 CITY (OCTOBER 2016)

Only five months passed until we locked horns with Barcelona again as were placed in the same Champions League group as the Catalan side.

Although we had the newly-appointed Pep Guardiola in our dugout – it was a familiar sorry story for City as we lost at Camp Nou.

BUY TICKETS FOR CITY V BARCELONA IN FLORIDA HERE 

Messi struck a hat-trick and Claudio Bravo was sent off for the Blues before the hosts’ Jeremy Mathieu was shown two yellow cards – meaning it was 10 against 10 in the closing stages.

Willy Caballero did save a late Neymar penalty, but the Brazilian netted from open play soon after.

CITY 3-1 BARCELONA (NOVEMBER 2016)

City euphorically recorded our first win over Barcelona in six attempts on a famous night at the Etihad in November 2016.

Messi had put the visitors ahead when he finished from Neymar’s pass before we produced a thrilling comeback to collect three points on the European stage.

We were level on the cusp of half-time when Sergi Roberto’s mistake allowed Raheem Sterling to collect possession before setting up Ilkay Gundogan who slotted home.

The Blues carried our momentum into the second half and took the lead through Kevin De Bruyne’s wonderful free-kick which nestled into the top corner.

Guardiola’s team then secured the victory when Gundogan was in the right place at the right time to score from inside the box.

CITY 3-3 BARCELONA (AUGUST 2022)

City and Barcelona played out an enthralling 3-3 draw at Camp Nou in a friendly in August 2022.

Julian Alvarez opened the scoring for the Blues in front of 92,062 before the hosts were level through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Xavi’s side then took the lead thanks to Frenkie de Jong’s strike, but the scoreline was level once again late on through Cole Palmer’s equaliser, but Memphis Depay restored Barcelona’s lead shortly after.

BUY TICKETS FOR CITY V BARCELONA IN FLORIDA HERE 

However, Riyad Mahrez’s penalty meant the charity fundraising event finished as a draw.



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