Celtic and Manchester City share spoils after six-goal classic
Champions League Group C, Celtic Park - Celtic 3 (Dembele 3, 47, Sterling OG 20) Manchester City 3 (Fernandinho 11, Sterling 28, Nolito 55)
Moussa Dembele scored twice as Celtic led three times to draw with Manchester City in a six-goal thriller on a wet and wild night in Glasgow.
Celtic made the perfect start, with Dembele nudging the ball over the line in the third minute to raise the roof at Celtic Park, even though the forward was a shade offside.
City were rattled but kept their heads to level with their first meaningful attack, with Fernandinho guiding the ball into the bottom corner after Aleksandar Kolarov’s shot fell at the feet of the Brazilian.
Undeterred, Celtic rallied and re-established their lead through local lad Kieran Tierney, who raced forward from left back to cap a swift Celtic counter-attack with a low shot that deflected in off the unlucky Raheem Sterling.
But Sterling made amends a few minutes later with City’s second equaliser of the night, showing composure to collect David Silva’s superb through ball and slot past Craig Gordon to score the fourth goal of the night inside half an hour.
Pep Guardiola left John Stones out of the starting XI and the Englishman’s replacement at centre back, Kolarov, was at fault as Celtic took the lead for the third - only 16 seconds after the restart. The Serbian made a hash of his clearance, and Dembele was on hand to turn an untidy overhead kick beyond Claudio Bravo.
City showed their resilience for a third time with another equaliser, this time courtesy of Nolito, who tapped in after Sergio Aguero’s shot was parried in his path.
Both sides had chances to win it, but it ended 3-3 as Celtic became the first side this season to deny Manchester City victory, with Barcelona going top of Group C after victory at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the matchReuters
Was this City's first wobble of the season? For the first time this season, City struggled to handle a team that were direct and not afraid to attack them, and that appears to be a strategy that can undo them. Kolarov and Otamendi didn't look convincing, Zabaleta struggled to keep up and Celtic ensured Aguero was starved of service. It was a fine performance by Rodger's side, and one others will learn from.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City): It’s not often that the scorer of an own goal can be described as the best player on the pitch, but Sterling was unplayable at times. Showed a brilliant blend of speed, skill and finishing to cause Celtic no end of problems. Took his goal very well and can be pleased with another fine performance under Pep Guardiola.
3’ - GOAL! Celtic 1-0 Manchester City. Dembele scores for Celtic! A deep free-kick by Sinclair is knocked back into the box by Forrest and Dembele gets the final touch. What a start!
6’ - ALMOST A SECOND! A loose ball drops to Kolo Toure, who had stayed up from a previous corner, and his snapshot on the turn is batted away well by Bravo.
12’ - GOAL! Celtic 1-1 Manchester City. Fernandinho equalises! Out of nothing, City are level. Kolarov's hopeful drive from distance goes straight to the feet of Fernandinho, who takes one touch and finds the bottom corner with his second.
20’ - GOAL! Celtic 2-1 Manchester City. A scintillating counter-attack by Celtic has City stretched at the back after Fernandinho dived in. The ball is worked out to Kieran Tierney on the left, whose low shot deflects off the unlucky Sterling and beyond Bravo.
29’ - GOAL! Celtic 2-2 Manchester City. Sterling scores! City have levelled again! Silva slides a perfect ball through the Celtic defence, Sterling keeps his head and slots past the advancing Gordon. Four goals and we haven't yet played half an hour.
44’ - GUNDOGAN CHANCE! Very close by Gundogan, who took Sterling's pass in his stride and almost guided the ball into the bottom corner.
47’ - GOAL! Celtic 3-2 Manchester City. Dembele again! Kolarov makes a complete hash of his clearance and Dembele's scruffy overhead kick beats Bravo. Celtic are ahead for the THIRD time of the night - and that was within 16 seconds of the restart!
51’ - NOLITO CHANCE! Sterling gets around his man on the right-hand side and delivers a perfect, deep cross for Nolito, who takes the ball down well but fires straight at Lustig. Great block.
55’ - GOAL! Celtic 3-3 Manchester City. Nolito for City! Silva threads a cute pass through to aguero, whose shot is parried into the path of Nolito, who is on hand to tap in. 3-3!
Manchester City's Nolito celebrates scoring their third goal with team matesReuters
83’ - FERNANDINHO CHANCE! Sterling brilliantly skips away from a couple of challenges before setting up Fernandinho who goes very close with his shot, which flashes just over the bar.
90’+1 - GUNDOGAN CHANCE! The German's shot takes a slight deflection but Gordon makes a vital stop to send it over the bar. City pushing for a winner.
Manchester City became the third team to come back three times from a deficit in a CL match after Manchester United at home against Real Madrid on 23 April 2003 (4-3 win) and FC Twente at home against Tottenham Hotspur on 7 December 2010 (3-3 result).
Moussa Dembele (20 years and 78 days) became the youngest player with a CL brace in seven years, since Alexandre Pato for Milan in their 3-2 defeat at Real Madrid on 21 October 2009.
Celtic avoided defeat in the competition for the time since October 2013 (win over Ajax), ending a club record-equalling losing streak of four matches.