City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Joe Hart’s late penalty save could yet prove crucial in the Champions League tie with Barcelona.
City go to Camp Nou trailing 2-1 after the first leg, with Luis Suarez’ first-half double putting Barcelona in command before Sergio Aguero reduced the deficit.
The hosts’ task became even steeper when Gael Clichy was sent off for a second yellow card, and when Pablo Zabaleta was penalised for a challenge on Lionel Messi in the box in injury time, City’s prospects looked bleak.
However, Joe Hart saved superbly from Messi to give City fans renewed hope going into the second leg.
Pellegrini said: “It is not the best result here at home. We are going to play in Barcelona and we will try and do it the way we normally play. We have a chance. We must try to do it there in the next game."
On Hart’s save he added: “It was a very important save. It was an unnecessary penalty. Of course it gives us more chance to try and win in Barcelona but 3-1 would have been a very difficult score to try and overturn.”
City put in a valiant display at Barcelona in the second leg of last season’s competition, but Pellegrini will not be looking back to that for inspiration.
Instead he would like his side to play their normal game.
“I’m not thinking about what happened last year," he said. "There is hope and we must support that hope by playing the way we normally do and did in the second half. If we don’t play to our strengths, it is not easy for our team to win.”