Enrique: Messi not to blame

Luis Suarez scored twice on his return to England, before Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back in the first leg of the last-16 Champions League tie at the Etihad.

But City were lucky to escape with a 2-1 defeat after an astonishing open-goal miss from Messi, who nodded a simple header wide after seeing Joe Hart save his injury-time penalty seconds earlier.

The Argentina international has scored 34 goals this season but has a miserable recent record from the penalty spot, having missed five of his last 10 spot-kicks for club and country and failed to convert three in the Champions League.

“The only people that miss penalties are the ones that dare to take them,” Enrique told reporters.

“Leo Messi takes ours. We know penalties can be missed in this game of ours and he will take the next one. Even if we???d won 3-1, the tie would not have been decided???

Enrique declared himself pleased with his side’s work in Manchester, even though the narrow scoreline belied the Catalans’ dominance.

???I would have settled for this result,” Enrique added. “It???s an away win, and a thoroughly deserved one.

???We had a splendid first half and created a host of chances for ourselves. We always had a man free, we combined, we broke clearly through on several occasions and we also defended really well.

???It wasn???t our best first half of the season. We have played some great first halves in other matches too.

“The whole team played spectacularly, all of them served their roles. I am very satisfied with my players??? attitude.”

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