Joe Hart spares Manchester City blushes with superb display in the Nou Camp

Manchester City's goalkeeper Joe Hart dives for the ball as the free kick from Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Manchester City's goalkeeper Joe Hart dives for the ball as the free kick from Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi and Barcelona turned on the style to dump Manchester City and their inspired goalkeeper Joe Hart out of the Champions League.

It was thanks to Hart’s heroics that Barcelona could manage only a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp.

City’s defeat meant the end of English involvement in the Champions League, after Arsenal and Chelsea’s defeats at the same last-16 stage and Liverpool’s elimination after the group round.

Pellegrini changed tactics, deploying Aguero as a lone striker, but it was to little avail.

After being well beaten in the first leg, it always seemed likely City would follow all their Premier League rivals out of the competition.

And so it proved as Barcelona set about them from the outset, looking in ominous form as Dani Alves forced a Vincent Kompany error and Neymar rolled a shot against the post.

Messi combined brilliantly with Andres Iniesta in the box but Hart came to City’s rescue with a low save from the Argentinian.

City could not keep pace with the Primera Division leaders and four of their players - Fernandinho, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Samir Nasri - were booked inside the first 36 minutes. Nasri was actually lucky not to see red for hacking at the ankles of Neymar.

But by then City were already a goal down after Messi picked out Rakitic in space in the box with a brilliant cross.

Rakitic controlled superbly on his chest and reacted quickly to lob the advancing Hart.

Barcelona almost had a second goal before the break as Luis Suarez, scorer of two in the first leg, broke clear and beat the advancing Hart only for his shot to bounce off the far post.

The one-way traffic continued as Hart saved from Iniesta, Rakitic and Jordi Alba in the opening minutes of the second half.

One good opportunity did open up when Navas got to the byline but there was no-one on hand to turn in his cross.

Hart denied Neymar again on the hour and City were given a potential lifeline moments later as they broke up to the other end and Aguero fell as Gerard Pique challenged.

A penalty was awarded but Aguero could not take advantage as Ter Stegen saved.

to his right.

It was not going to be City’s night but Hart could still hold his head high, saving again from Suarez before the former Liverpool star hit the bar.

Hart saved brilliantly again from Messi in the last minute and Neymar was also frustrated by him in injury time.