Joe Hart insists Manchester City will head to Barcelona with belief after his last-gasp penalty save from Lionel Messi kept the score at 2-1 last night.
A first-half Luis Suarez double put Barcelona in control of the Champions League last 16 tie before Sergio Aguero got one back for the hosts.
And in the final minute, Messi saw his penalty saved before somehow heading the rebound wide – a crucial moment says Hart, when they head to Spain for the return leg.
“I hope our second-half efforts are worth something. We’ll go there with a great group of fans, belief and we will have a right go.” he told ITV.
“We pressed until the first goal and then panicked a bit. We regrouped second half, put Barcelona under a lot of pressure, and we were good for a goal and maybe good for a result tonight.
“The occasion didn’t get to us, sometimes things go against you. It is 2-1 and we go there with belief.”
It did not take long for Suarez to score on his return to English soil, having departed from Liverpool for the Catalan club in the summer – and Hart was hardly surprised by his input.
“Luis is a fantastic player. What did they sign him for? £80million? What do you expect?,” Hart added.
“He took his goals well. We controlled them well apart from the two goals.”
It’s not the result we wanted but the tie is still unfinished. And as usual we’ll fight ’til the end. C’mon, City!
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) February 24, 2015
Vamossss! Buena victoria y gran esfuerzo de todo el equipo! Come on! Great victory and great effort from everyone! pic.twitter.com/qeF3D3d9Xm
— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) February 24, 2015
City’s task was made harder in the final 17 minutes after Gael Clichy was sent off for a second bookable offence, meaning he will miss the tie at the Nou Camp on March 18.
The left-back says he had no issues with his sending off and echoed his goalkeeper’s belief that the penalty save could prove pivotal for City.
“We always say you have to look for positives and I think this save was a massive one,” said Clichy, speaking to CityTV.
“I am not talking about the quality of Joe, because he is one of the leaders in the dressing room and on the pitch, and this save could be the turning point.
“I am not saying it’s going to be easy, and you cannot say this save is going to make us win the game.
“If you play by the rules, they are probably two yellows, but I have done two fouls during the game, and I wouldn’t even call them big fouls.”
City must now focus on closing the gap against league leaders Chelsea, and face in-form Liverpool at Anfield this Sunday.