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Man City and Celtic ends all square

Written by
Patrick Roberts

Manchester City and Celtic played out a low-key draw as their Champions League group phase concluded at Etihad Stadium.

This was a dead rubber with City already assured of second place in Group C and Celtic eliminated with no chance of Europa League football.

Celtic started in impressive fashion and on-loan winger Patrick Roberts gave them a fourth-minute lead against his parent club with a crisp finish – an advantage that lasted four minutes before Kelechi Iheanacho drove an angled drive high past Craig Gordon.

And Celtic almost cashed in but substitutes Leigh Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven wasted late opportunities.

City boss Pep Guardiola made nine changes from the team that lost at home to Chelsea on Saturday, including teenagers Pablo Maffeo and Tosin Adarabioyo.

Both Guardiola and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers seemed satisfied at the final whistle, with the only dampener on the night being when scuffles broke out between a small number of rival supporters in the second half.

How far can Manchester City go?

No judgements can be made from this game, played out with an unfamiliar team with nothing competitive at stake – but City have shown both sides of their personality in this group stage.

If they reproduce the blistering form they demonstrated in the second half of their 3-1 win against Barcelona at Etihad Stadium, they have the style and personnel to trouble any team left in the competition.

If they show the defensive frailty that saw them lose 4-0 in Barcelona – and which they have shown in the Premier League – then they are just as likely to sabotage their chances.

Finishing second in the group usually makes life tougher and they can still land stiff opposition in the likes of Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Monaco, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus or Sevilla.

Tough – but nothing to deter City if they can produce their best.

Champions League – who’s going through?
Group A: PSG and Arsenal
Group B: Benfica and Napoli
Group C: Barcelona and Manchester City
Group D: Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich
Group E: Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen
Group F: Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid
Group G: Leicester and one of Porto or FC Copenhagen
Group H: Juventus and one of Sevilla or Lyon
Ludogorets, Besiktas, Borussia Moenchengladbach and FC Rostov have confirmed their places in the Europa League

Celtic making progress

Rodgers knew it would be a tough task to progress from a group containing Barcelona and Manchester City. And it has proved difficult.

But Celtic’s display here was confident and showed signs that they have learned lessons from the experience – although it must be placed in the context of a game played against an unfamiliar City team.

Celtic kept City at arm’s length for much of the game and posed a threat, which is exactly what Rodgers will have wanted. They were well-organised and fiercely industrious.

If there was a fault it was that they did not make the most of their chances, with Moussa Dembele wasteful in the first half and both Griffiths and Mackay-Steven having opportunities late on.

The former Liverpool boss is in a building process at Celtic and while domestic domination looks certain to continue, Rodgers can at least take some solace that they looked to have moved forward in this European campaign.

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City still off colour

It’s another home draw for Manchester City as they struggle to rediscover the air of invincibility they carried in the early games following Guardiola’s arrival.

This was a night of experimentation for the Catalan but his animated behaviour on the touchline made it obvious how much he wanted victory.

It did not materialise and City have now won only four of their past 13 matches. This comes after winning their first 10 competitive fixtures under Guardiola before a 3-3 draw at Celtic in the Champions League.

He will hope this magic touch can return soon with the Premier League entering a crucial stage and further Champions League battles ahead.

Man of the match – Patrick Roberts (Celtic)

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‘It was a pleasure to play against Celtic’

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola:

“I am so happy. We played really good against a good team.

“The experienced players like Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernando and Ilkay Gundogan helped the young players a lot.

“It was a good experience for them. They deserved to play because they have trained well. Their behaviour is always perfect so I am so happy to give them the opportunity to play in the Champions League.

“The game was good for the spectators, both teams tried to attack. It was fun. It was a pleasure to play against Celtic.”

What’s next?

Back to the domestic title chase for both teams.

Manchester City, who are fourth in the Premier League and four points behind leaders Chelsea, travel to reigning champions Leicester City on Saturday (17:30 GMT).

Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic go to second-bottom Partick Thistle on Friday (19:45). Rodgers’ side are eight points clear of second-place Rangers, having played three matches fewer than their Old Firm rivals.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 13Caballero
  • 3Sagna
  • 53Adarabioyo
  • 22Clichy
  • 50MaffeoSubstituted forJesús Navasat 62′minutes
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 6Fernando
  • 8GündoganBooked at 79mins
  • 19Sané
  • 9Nolito
  • 72Iheanacho

Substitutes

  • 10Agüero
  • 15Jesús Navas
  • 24Stones
  • 30Otamendi
  • 54Gunn
  • 69Angelino
  • 80Foden

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 44mins
  • 5Simunovic
  • 28Sviatchenko
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8BrownBooked at 85mins
  • 27Roberts
  • 18Rogic
  • 14Armstrong
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 51′minutes
  • 10DembeleSubstituted forGriffithsat 73′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2K Touré
  • 6Bitton
  • 9Griffiths
  • 12Gamboa
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 24de Vries
  • 42McGregor
Referee:
Slavko Vincic
Attendance:
51,297

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home10
Away16
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home6
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Manchester City 1, Celtic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Manchester City 1, Celtic 1.

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

Offside, Manchester City. Willy Caballero tries a through ball, but Kelechi Iheanacho is caught offside.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jozo Simunovic.

Attempt missed. Leroy Sané (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

Booking

Scott Brown (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Attempt missed. Fernando (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Jesús Navas.

Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Willy Caballero.

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths with a through ball.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Jozo Simunovic.

Attempt blocked. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tosin Adarabioyo.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Emilio Izaguirre.

Fernando (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

Booking

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).

Tomas Rogic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Gary Mackay-Steven.

Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Emilio Izaguirre.

Nolito (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Tomas Rogic (Celtic).

Offside, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong tries a through ball, but Leigh Griffiths is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Moussa Dembele.

Tosin Adarabioyo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Armstrong (Celtic).

Offside, Manchester City. Willy Caballero tries a through ball, but Kelechi Iheanacho is caught offside.

Foul by Tosin Adarabioyo (Manchester City).

Moussa Dembele (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Offside, Manchester City. Jesús Navas tries a through ball, but Nolito is caught offside.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.

Attempt blocked. Stuart Armstrong (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.

Attempt saved. Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mikael Lustig.

goal

Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Man City and Celtic ends all square

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