0-1, min. 4, Roberts. 1-1, min. 8, Iheanacho.
Manchester City 1-1 Celtic: Spoils shared in entertaining draw at the Etihad
Manchester City v Celtic Champions League report

Manchester City 1-1 Celtic: Spoils shared in entertaining draw at the Etihad

Patrick Roberts scored against his parent club but Kelechi Iheanacho's equaliser was enough to ensure both sides took home a point

sam-france
Sam France

Manchester City and Celtic played out a second entertaining draw of the season despite both sides already having their fates in the Champions League group stage sealed before kick-off.

Brendan Rodgers spoke before the game about his side's progress on the European stage this season and that was made evident with just four minutes played as on-loan City winger Patrick Roberts scored a superb individual goal. 

Kelechi Iheanacho levelled before the ten-minute mark but Pep Guardiola's side failed to ever truly dominate the game, with both sides having chances to take all three points.

City made a number of changes but fielded a strong starting eleven nonetheless with defensive pair Pablo Maffeo and Tosin Adarabioyo the only two youth academy players to start, with the latter becoming the youngest player to represent the club in European competition.

Former City man Scott Sinclair missed out with a hamstrong strain but Roberts started on the right, with another former City player on the bench in the form of Kolo Toure.

Quickfire goals to start the game

Despite the opening goal coming only four minutes into the game, it had been coming as Celtic started a cut above the home side.

Roberts picked up the ball on the right after Leroy Sane's mis-control but with plenty still to do, he cut inside and drifted through the static defence before curling his shot around Willy Caballero and inside the far post.

Yet, it took just another four minutes for City to draw level. Brendan Rodgers will have been disappointed to see his side opened up by Nolito's simple pass through the centre but Iheanacho picked it up with glee, carrying the ball forward and slamming a powerful high finish past Craig Gordon in the Celtic goal.

The half continued apace, with Iheanacho going close to a second soon after from another quick break forward. Pablo Zabaleta, captaining the side from midfield, found him with an inch-perfect low cross but the Nigerian sliced his first-time shot well wide.

Dembele almost capitalises on open game

Moussa Dembele had a pair of chances around the 15-minute mark, first seeing his low shot denied first by Caballero and then the offside flag, before a moment of magic from James Forrest which should have brought another goal.

He slalomed his way past three defenders from the half-way line, drifting infield and feeding Dembele. Caballero stopped his initial shot again but the ball bounced back to the forward, who just failed to stab home the rebound from a tight angle.

The football on show slowed down as the first half went on but Iheanacho almost brought the game back to life with a backheeled flick towards goal from Nolito's cross, but Gordon adjusted well to get down and tip the ball clear.

Roberts broke into the area from the right once again on the stroke of half time. He stopped his run as he felt - not unfairly - that he had been pulled back by Gael Clichy, with Mikael Lustig then booked for his protestations to the assistant referee behind the goal.

Chances both ways in open start to second half

The second half did not start with quite the same intensity as the first but it threatened to bring another quick goal as Ilkay Gundogan scooped a sublime pass over a mass of Celtic defenders. Nolito controlled and was bundled over by Gordon inside the area, but the linesman's flag had been held aloft for offside.

The visitors responded with a good spell of pressure which saw Caballero spill a corner to a Celtic shirt before it was cleared away from danger, before Lustig darted inside from the right but hoisted his left-footed effort high and wide of the target.

City thought they had a second goal halfway through the second period as a swift counter led by Nolito and substitute Jesus Navas saw the former fire into an empty net at the back post, but the linesman was signalling for offside once more.

Soon after, the away end dazzled with lights as Celtic fans held their mobile phone torches aloft to mark the 50-year anniversary of the 'Lisbon Lions' team, with some City fans also joining in the display.

Griffiths and Sane go close at the death

The home side had played with fire at the back throughout the game and were almost made to pay with ten minutes remaining. 

Fernando dawdled on the ball and had it taken away from him, but Leigh Griffiths, on to make an impact from the bench, pulled his shot just wide.

Sane came close to a winner five minutes later as he bent a free kick just wide of the bottom left corner from a good position just outside the area, before a rampaging run down the left brought calls for a penalty as his low cross cannoned away apparently off the hand of a Celtic defender.

However, City protestations fell on deaf ears and neither side threatened again, with the points deservedly shared in an entertaining, well-contested affair.

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