City hero Hart: I just tried to smother Messi, Neymar and Suarez
The Manchester City goalkeeper made several superb saves during the 1-0 defeat at Camp Nou and explained that he just tried to make the Catalans' forwards rush their shots
Manchester City ace Joe Hart has revealed some of the techniques behind his goalkeeping masterclass against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The England international made a string of brilliant saves to deny Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez during the last-16 second leg tie, but could not stop his side slumping to a 1-0 defeat on the night, and going out of the competition 3-1 on aggregate, with Ivan Rakitic’s sumptuous lob proving decisive.
Nevertheless, Hart gave an insight into his fine showing after the game, revealing that he attempts to unnerve his opponents by rushing them into shooting.
"It was busy! I just tried to smother them as best I could because I know full well they're thinking they've got to pass at all times,” he told Sky Sports. “Maybe that's why I tried to rush in for the goal, I thought he took it well.
"My job is to try and rush them, quality players. It's difficult to do sometimes and I had a little bit of luck on my side. I don't know how Neymar stayed out in the first minute but that's football, we did our best to stay in it and it's just unfortunate tonight."
Hart also frustrated Messi in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium, saving a last minute penalty from the Argentine to give his side a chance of completing a remarkable comeback in Spain - though ultimately they fell short.
“It was nice to save a penalty from Messi, I wanted it to count but unfortunately it hasn't which is a shame,” he added.
"I'm in there to make saves, they hit me a lot tonight, I just tried to be big.”
Hart also praised the City fans who made the trip to Camp Nou, and has promised the club’s support that the team will be “ready” to bounce back against West Brom this weekend.
“Like I say, we move on, it's West Brom now and big shout to the fans who came here again, up in the clouds,” he said. “We really appreciate them and we know we're going to turn up Saturday afternoon and we'll be ready to go again."
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