Luis Suarez’s return to England resulted in a bang as his brace put Catalan giants Barcelona in a commanding position ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou.
The ex-Liverpool forward, who netted 31 goals in 33 league matches on English soil last season, set Luis Enrique’s side on their way with just 16 minutes played.
His headed knock-on landed back into his path and he was agile enough to steady himself and slot the opener into the bottom corner.
Suarez slid in his, and Barcelona’s second, on the half hour mark off the base of the post to all but end the tie as a contest before half-time.
A traditionally sumptuous bit of Barcelona pass and move resulted in the second which Ivan Rakitic started and Suarez finished, with a jinking Lionel Messi run and a pinpoint low Jordi Alba cross in-between.
Sergio Aguero responded on 69 minutes with an equally aesthetically pleasing strike, he latched onto a neat David Silva back-hell and lashed the ball into the back of the net to keep slim City dreams alive.
Gael Clichy was given his marching orders four minutes later though for a second miss-timed challenge and his second yellow card. The first of which for slicing down Rakitic, and a similarly stupid challenge on Dani Alves brought Clichy’s night to an end.
Messi had a 90th minute penalty saved by Joe Hart, and the headed rebound went wide to keep City somewhat in the contest, but with an uphill battle.