SPORTS: Rakitic: Even Man City enjoyed watching Messi play!

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Ivan Rakitic has joked that even Manchester City's players enjoyed watching Barcelona's Lionel Messi tear them apart on Wednesday.

The Argentine was the star of the show as Rakitic scored the only goal of the game to seal a 1-0 win on the night and a 4-1 victory on aggregate over the two legs.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a Sergio Aguero's penalty in the second half, but City had the superb Joe Hart to thank for ensuring they only lost by a single goal and for keeping Messi at bay.

"He's amazing, incredible… Words no longer qualify with Messi," the Croatia international told Canal Plus. "Nobody knows what to say about him any more.

"I think even Manchester City's players enjoyed watching Messi play tonight. Hopefully his form will continue like this."

Rakitic was full of praise for England No.1 Hart and said the manner of their victory was all the more impressive considering it was against quality opposition.

"Congratulations to Manchester City's goalkeeper, he's a great shot-stopper and today he showed that," the former Sevilla star added.

"Overall I think we did a good job – we enjoyed more possession and it's important that we won. City have a lot of good players and they're very dangerous up front, but we deserved the victory.

"We put in a great performance in a big game, but now we have another massive one to prepare for on Sunday against Real Madrid."

Barca have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the eighth consecutive campaign but will be hoping to do better than their elimination at the hands of Atletico in the last eight in 2013-14.

Next up for Luis Enrique's men is a home clash against Real Madrid in La Liga – where a win will extend their lead at the top of La Liga to four points.