Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Manchester City 1-1 Celtic: Patrick Roberts scores against parent club as Hoops bow out of Champions League

Manchester City and Celtic have drawn 1-1 in their Champions League Group C match.

Patrick Roberts scored against his parent club as Celtic held Manchester City to a draw in their final Champions League Group C game.

The 19-year-old, on loan to the Scottish champions from City, struck after just four minutes at the Etihad Stadium.

City responded quickly with a Kelechi Iheanacho equaliser in what proved a compelling first half but the pace dropped as the sides went through the motions after the break.

With City already qualified as group runners-up and unable to take top spot, and Celtic destined to finish bottom, that was understandable.

Yet Celtic, who made just the one change compared to City's nine, started as if determined to treat their final European outing of the season as more than a dead rubber.

They troubled City's back three of experienced full-backs Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna and youngster Tosin Adarabioyo in the early stages.

The hosts were sloppy in possession and Roberts took full advantage when he pounced on poor distribution from Willy Caballero to slalom into the area and fire past the back-up goalkeeper.

It was a sweet moment for the teenager, who joined City in an £11million deal last year but then moved to Celtic on an 18-month loan in February having barely registered on the first-team radar.

His goal provided the spark for a compelling first half, with City rousing themselves almost immediately.

City equalised just four minutes later as Iheanacho, who looks set for a run in the side with Sergio Aguero due to serve a ban, raced onto a ball from Nolito and rifled home.

The 20-year-old Nigerian might have had a second moments later but shot wide after a break by Pablo Zabaleta, who was impressive in an unfamiliar midfield role.

Iheanacho forced a save from Craig Gordon with a neat back flick and Nolito's follow-up effort was blocked by Emilio Izaguirre.

Celtic had another chance when Moussa Dembele shot into the side-netting after Caballero saved his initial attempt.

The Hoops might also have had a penalty before the interval when Clichy appeared to pull back Roberts but nothing was given.

The pace of the second half did not match that of the first as both sides eased up.

Celtic enjoyed a good spell of possession and eventually created an opportunity for substitute Gary Mackay-Steven but his curling shot was claimed by Caballero.

City burst back into life with a quick break that saw Nolito turn in a Jesus Navas cross but he was marginally offside.

Leigh Griffiths missed a chance to put Celtic ahead after Fernando was dispossessed 12 minutes from time but guided his shot wide.

Mackay-Steven also had another opportunity but Caballero again saved while Leroy Sane curled a free-kick wide at the other end.

Sane, who became influential in the latter stages after a mostly quiet game, wanted a penalty late on when his cross struck Jozo Simunovic's hand but, after some thought, referee Slavko Vincic gave a a corner.

Talking points match preview

Here, we look at some City talking points ahead of the match.


City could either view this game as a luxury because they have already got the job done in terms of qualification or an inconvenience during a busy month.

Either way, manager Pep Guardiola is certain to take the chance to rest some of his star men and give minutes to others. With City cemented in second place and Celtic unable to climb off the bottom in the group, the game has no wider relevance.


While Guardiola may rotate his squad, and even take a look at some of the youngsters he often includes on the bench in the Champions League, there may be the additional bonus chance to see loanee Patrick Roberts in action.

City raised eyebrows when they signed the 19-year-old forward in an £11million deal last year and puzzlement followed when it became clear he was some way off first-team consideration.

He has scored three goals this season after joining the Hoops on an 18-month deal in February and plenty of City fans would also be keen to see him in action.


After Saturday's loss to title rivals Chelsea, the coming weeks are crucial for City as they look to rebuild momentum in the Premier League. They have games against Arsenal and Liverpool before the end of the year. This game offers a chance to get the weekend setback out of the system, particularly if they win well, but they will want to do so without picking up any new injuries.


The chaotic ending to Saturday's game, which saw players and staff of both sides get involved in a mass brawl, has seen City lose Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho for four and three games respectively. Including a retrospective punishment for Aguero, City have now clocked up six red cards this season and could have a wider disciplinary problem to address.


With Aguero banned domestically, Kelechi Iheanacho looks set for game time in the weeks ahead. Guardiola will have to decide whether it is worth playing Aguero against Celtic, but it could give Iheanacho a chance to play himself into some form before more important Premier League games ahead. One change that seems likely - if the choice of players for pre-match media duties is anything to go by - is Willy Caballero replacing Claudio Bravo in goal.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph