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Zabaleta: City can cause Barca upset

Pablo Zabaleta insists it is not mission impossible for Manchester City to win against Barcelona at the Nou Camp and reach the last eight of the Champions League for the first time.

• Curtis: Lid comes off for Pellegrini
• Brewin: Demichelis disappoints for City
Mooney: City hopes dimmed at Etihad
• City players back penalty criticism

City go to Catalonia as rank outsiders after losing 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, when Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves scored for Barcelona.

But right-back Zabaleta is urging his teammates to display the conviction required to secure a landmark win at the Nou Camp on March 12.

Pablo Zabaleta shows his frustration during Man City's first leg defeat to Barcelona.
Pablo Zabaleta shows his frustration during Man City's first leg defeat to Barcelona.

He said: “In football it is about belief and confidence, especially when you have the players to do it. Obviously it will be difficult going to Camp Nou two goals down, but it is not impossible.

“We will try to play a good game and win there, and if we can do it, it would be huge for us. Always in football, you never know. You should try until the end and see what happens.”

Zabaleta said City should be encouraged by their achievement in defeating reigning European champions Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in December.

He added: “I don't remember anyone [else] winning there like that.”

The Argentina international was adamant City did well at the Etihad Stadium and only lost because of Barcelona’s excellence and the dismissal of defender Martin Demichelis, who conceded the penalty Messi scored.

Zabaleta explained: “We said before the game that the only way we should be beaten by them was if they played better. They did everything well, and it wasn't because they played a poor Manchester City.

“That is the difference. You should be proud when you give 100 percent to try to win, and I think we did that. That's why we are a little bit disappointed about the result, but when you look at the whole performance over 90 minutes we did OK.

“The decision on Martin Demichelis' challenge changed the game. It was hard with ten men, especially against teams that keep the ball and defend by having possession.”

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