City fell to their second defeat of the UEFA Youth League campaign with a 2-0 loss to FC Barcelona.
Although both sides had their chances, clinical first half finishes from Jordi Mboula and Cucurella proved the difference at a sunny Academy Stadium.
As with the match in Catalonia a fortnight ago, City started on the front foot. However, after Brahim Diaz and Javairo Dilrosun missed early chances, Barcelona punished the Blues for their prolifigacy.
View highlights of the reverse fixture at Barcelona's Mini Estadi below:
A neat move down the left by the Spaniards resulted in a deep cross that Jordi Mboula met with his left foot and swept past City goalkeeper Daniel Grimshaw.
The battle between the two, that was to rumble on throughout the afternoon, continued moments later but this time Grimshaw was equal to the winger’s effort.
Although City had more chances of their own, it was up to Grimshaw again to keep his side in the tie as he smothered the ball when Mboula seemed certain to score.
Barcelona doubled their lead moments before the half-time whistle when left-back Cucurella fired home from the edge of the box.
City came out from the break in a determined mood that manifested itself in the curling effort of Jadon Sancho. The England winger’s effort went just past the post but it gave City hope.
That hope soon turned to frustration as the Blues continued to waste chances with Paolo Fernandes and Dilrosun both spurning opportunities.
Although the introductions of Lukas Nmecha, returning from injury, and Luke Bolton improved City’s dynamism, it wasn’t enough to force a way back into the match for Simon Davies’ side.
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What it means...
City have two victories and two losses in Group C of the UEFA Youth League.
City separate for the international break now before travelling to Everton on the 20th November and Borussia Monchengladbach on 23 November. Visit the ticket office for information on how you can support our future at upcoming home fixtures.
With the match at 0-1 and a host of chances already wasted by City, Brahim Diaz produced a piece of magic to go around Sergi Puig in the FC Barcelona goal.
With two defenders on the line, City's Spaniard had to be accurate but his effort just went past the far post and signalled that it was to be a frustrating afternoon for City.
Man of the match...
Daniel Grimshaw - Despite the periods of bright City play, Grimshaw was the busier of the two goalkeepers throughout the afternoon.
The 18-year-old was forced into a wide range of saves, using both his feet and his hands, but ultimately FC Barcelona’s pressure saw him beaten twice.
How they lined up...
Daniel Grimshaw maintained his role as the goalkeeper for the European team.
Joel Latibeaudiere, Cameron Humphreys, Tosin Adarabioyo and Jacob Davenport were the experienced defence protecting Gunn’s goal.
Sadou Diallo sat at the base of the midfield behind captain for the night Rodney Kongolo and Paolo Fernandes while Javairo Dilrosun and Jadon Sancho, fresh from helping England U17s to top their European Championship qualification group, flanked Brahim Diaz.
Substitutes: Haug, Francis, Smith, Patching, Foden, Bolton, Nmecha
Confused about the format and rules of the UEFA Youth League? Here's a handy guide to explain all the competitions our youngsters will be taking part in this season.