Zabaleta keeps the faith
Pablo Zabaleta has urged his Manchester City team-mates not to give up on their Champions League dream, despite a damaging first-leg defeat to Barcelona.
City require a remarkable turnaround at the Nou Camp next month to reach the quarter-finals after the Spaniards claimed a controversial 2-0 win at the Etihad on Tuesday.
The game pivoted on the dismissal of Martin Demichelis shortly after half-time, and the penalty that Lionel Messi subsequently scored, with Dani Alves making the task tougher still with a late second.
Furious City boss Manuel Pellegrini accused referee Jonas Eriksson of being biased towards Barcelona but defender Zabaleta refused to indulge in self-pity, insisting all was not lost.
"Nothing is impossible in football," Zabaleta said.
"We still have 90 minutes to try to do something. We should go there and try as hard as we can.
"I think we must be happy with what we did in the second half with 10 men. Maybe Barcelona had more possession but they didn't create too many chances because we were very solid defending.
"Also we had chances to score and (Barcelona goalkeeper Victor) Valdes made a few saves.
"At the end of the day we must be a little bit disappointed but now we need to have belief and try to do well in Camp Nou."
Playmaker Samir Nasri hopes City can produce a response similar to the one they mustered after being humbled by Bayern Munich in October.
City were outplayed as they lost their home group match to the reigning champions 3-1 but they won the return match in Germany in December 3-2.
"It is a different game but why not?" Nasri said. "We went to Munich and we won. We could do the same.
"I think it is not over. It was a close game and then the referee made a mistake.
"It was not a pen, it was a free-kick. We still have a chance and we are going to play the game there without fear and try to score as soon as possible."