Man City made to fight for a draw at Celtic Park

Celtic’s Moussa Dembele, who had opened the scoring, celebrates after putting the Hoops 3-2 up in last night’s Uefa Champions League Group C match at Celtic Park. The match finished in a 3-3 draw. Picture by PA
Ronnie Esplin at Celtic Park

Manchester City came from behind three times to draw 3-3 with Celtic in a breathtaking Champions League encounter at Parkhead.

In a whirlwind start to the match Hoops striker Moussa Dembele gave the home side the lead in the third minute before Fernandinho equalised eight minutes later.

Left-back Kieran Tierney’s 20th-minute shot deflected in off City winger Raheem Sterling, who then levelled again for the visitors with a well-taken goal.

Dembele made it 3-2 with less than two minutes played of the second half before Nolito equalised again in the 55th minute. The result ends City’s winning run under Pep Guardiola – 10 games before they travelled to Glasgow – and it was no more than the Scottish champions deserved.

Brendan Rodgers’ side were hammered 7-0 in Barcelona in their Group C opener earlier in the month but he and the supporters will have been encouraged by the determination shown by the Scottish champions.

Celtic’s two goal hero Dembele, felt that the gritty display proves that the Glasgow club are no back numbers in Europe’s elite club competition.

“I enjoyed it and it was most important that we got a point today, and played well,” said Dembele.

“We showed that we are a good group and that we fight until the end. The most important thing is to put the ball in the back of the net. It’s massive – we need to keep believing and keep producing games like that and I think we will get something out of this Champions League.”

Scott Sinclair, a former Manchester City player, said that he was unfazed by facing his former employers, and that he simply takes each game as it comes.

“It was magnificent,” said Sinclair.

“You could see the fans were right behind us, the atmosphere was unbelievable so that spurred us on. That’s the thing - they keep on singing all night. It keeps us going - on our toes.

“But we keep going, we keep creating chances. The thing is that we just keep improving, I think, game by game. I think we learnt from the Barcelona defeat. We’ve pushed forward. We took all the negatives out of it, and we’ve performed tonight.”

Rain cascaded down in the lead up to kick-off and then the noise took over as Celtic stormed into an early lead. Scott Sinclair’s free-kick from 35 yards was played wide to James Forrest and when his first-time volley was headed towards goal by defender Erik Sviatchenko, it was chested in from a couple of yards by Dembele.

The visitors drew level during a brief spell of pressure when Fernandinho took the sting out of a long-range effort by team-mate Aleksandar Kolarov, turned, and knocked the ball past Gordon.

In the 28th minute, after Dembele was short with a pass to skipper Scott Brown, Silva released Sterling and he cleverly turned inside Tierney before slipping the ball past Gordon from 12 yards.

Dembele started the second-half as he did the first, taking advantage of Kolarov’s miskick in front of goal from Tierney’s cross, to hook the ball past the helpless Bravo.

More mayhem ensued in the stands. Gordon pushed a Gundogan free-kick from 20 yards past the post as the Premier League leaders responded once more but their third equaliser came after Gordon had parried an angled-drive by Aguero out to Spanish attacker Nolito who slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Fernandinho fired just over from 25 yards in the 83rd minute and the Glasgow side survived few nervy moments – Gordon made a great save from Gundogan’s deflected drive – before the final whistle brought a huge and deserved explosion of applause from the Hoops faithful. 


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