Celtic’s Patrick Roberts haunt Man City

Patrick Roberts is on an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City to Celtic

Patrick Roberts is on an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City to Celtic

Celtic forward Patrick Roberts’ early goal stopped parent club Manchester City winning all three Champions League home group games for the first time.

The on-loan 19-year-old cut inside from the right flank, firing the Scottish champions ahead with an angled drive.

The hosts, who were already assured of finishing second in Group C, equalised when Kelechi Iheanacho drilled in.

City’s Nolito had a goal ruled out for offside after the break as already-eliminated Celtic earned a point.

Pep Guardiola’s side will find out who they will play in the last 16 when the draw is made on Monday.

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.

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.
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.

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