Match Report

Resilient City earn draw in Celtic Park thriller

TEAM: Manchester City's Fernandinho celebrates his goal with teammates
Champions League
Champions League
Wed 28 Sep
City had to come from behind three times to earn a 3-3 with Celtic after a breathless encounter in Glasgow.

In a see-saw encounter,  both teams gave as good as they got in the first meeting between the clubs. Here's how things panned out at Celtic Park...

Starting XI

XI: How we lined up
XI: How we lined up

What happened...

City found themselves a goal behind after just three minutes when Moussa Dembele edged the ball home from close range via his chest - though TV replays suggested the goal was offside - as the hosts raced out of the blocks.

And the Hoops could have doubled their lead within five minutes as a combination of Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy fashioned a shot that forced Claudio Bravo into a fine reflex save.

But City soon drew level as they settled into the task ahead as Aleks Kolarov's low shot only found Fernandinho who found himself with just Craig Gordon to beat and the Brazilian made no mistake with a mis-hit low shot to Gordon's left.

In a breathless opening, Celtic edged ahead again on 19 minutes as Kieran Tierney raced into the box and his low cross was deflected past Bravo by the foot of Raheem Sterling,

The match swung this way and that and before the half-hour City were level again. David Silva won possession on the halfway line and after playing a quick one-two, spotted the run of Sterling and the England winger feigned to shoot - sending a defender and Gordon the wrong way - before slotting the ball in the opposite corner. 

STERLING WORK: More brilliance from Raheem
STERLING WORK: More brilliance from Raheem

It was the perfect riposte in this see-saw, yet thrilling battle of Britain.

The second-half was barely a minute old when City conceded again with Dembele scoring with an acrobatic volley that left Bravo flat-footed - the Blues just couldn't get their normal game going, partly due to the levels Celtic were raising their game to.

Nolito and Ilkay Gundogan went close to equalising for a third time as the game's open nature continued and - of course - that wasn't the end of the scoring.

City levelled again with a goal that smacked of quality and again the masterful Silva was at the heart of the move as he threaded a perfect ball through to Sergio Aguero whose low cross eventually found its way to Nolito who made no mistake from eight yards out.

The only surprise was that there were no further scoring in the 30 minutes or so that remained, though City threatened several times to take all three points.

Gundogan almost snatched victory in injury time with a powerful drive but a draw was about right on the night.

Key moment

Gordon's fine save from Gundogan as the game moved into added time earned a precious point for Celtic and denied City win No.11 for the campaign. There were other moments that could have determined who won this game, but coming so late in the game with the Blues pressing for a winner, it was a fine save from the Hoops' keeper.

Man of the Match: David Silva

MAGICAL: Silva at his best
MAGICAL: Silva at his best

At the heart of everything good City did at Celtic Park, Silva was at his mesmerizing best with a mix of vision, technical excellence and intelligence. Involved in two of the goals City scored, he is back to his very best this season.


Guardiola: "It was difficult for us. I'm happy with the reaction from the players, it's not easy to score three goals away. I don't know how many the chances they had after the third goal. We should have won it."

Rodgers"I can't criticise the team, but there's always elements we can be better in. We were brilliant, the pressing and the energy. Every time we went forward we looked like we could score. Apart from the Barcelona game these players have been operating at a high level this season. Now, to do it against that team, it was a magnificent performance."

Photo of the match

CROWDED HOUSE: A packed Celtic park, pre kick-off
CROWDED HOUSE: A packed Celtic park, pre kick-off

What it means

City drop vital points in Group C with back-to-back games against Barcelona - who came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 - to come. If the Blues are to top this group, they will need to get something from one or both matches against the Catalans and hope Celtic give Barca an equally tough examination when they travel to Glasgow this autumn. That said, there was plenty to admire about the way City came back to earn a draw.

The 100% record for Pep is over, but it had to end sooner or later.

What next?

City take on Spurs at the weekend looking to increase the lead at the top of the Premier League and will need to recover from the exertions at Celtic Park. There seemed to be no additional knocks suffered against the Hoops, but there will be a few weary legs so expect changes.

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