Champions League

City's winning run ended with Celtic draw

2016-09-28 22:56
Raheem Sterling (AP)

Glasgow - Manchester City came from behind three times to draw 3-3 at Celtic in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday that ended the English team's 100 percent start to the season under new coach Pep Guardiola.

City's winning run stopped at 10 games — one short of matching the English record — and Guardiola will be relieved at earning a point after his team's dreadful defensive display at Parkhead.

Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling scored equalizers for City in an action-packed first half after Celtic went twice ahead through Moussa Dembele, in the third minute, and a Sterling own goal in the 20th.

Dembele restored Celtic's lead barely a minute into the second half after Aleksandar Kolarov's defensive error, only for Nolito to equalize for City in the 55th.

City had previously won six matches in the Premier League, three in the Champions League and one in the English League Cup with a series of free-scoring displays. That put the team within sight of Tottenham's 11 straight wins to start the season in the 1960-61 campaign.

A furious match saw City go behind for the first time under Guardiola and also concede more than once for the first time under the Spaniard.

Celtic — thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona in its first group game — pressed high and forced errors in possession from City, whose defence — missing rested centre back John Stones — was shambolic at times.

The first example came inside three minutes. James Forrest was left unmarked at the far post from a diagonal free kick and his volleyed cross was glanced goalward by Erik Sviatchenko, with the ball deflecting off Dembele into the net.

Fernandinho equalized in the 12th minute when a wayward shot from Kolarov fell into the path of the midfielder, who controlled and dribbled a left-footed shot into the corner.

Back came Celtic. Kieran Tierney broke forward down the left and his cross took a deflection off a sliding Sterling and ricocheted into the net at Claudio Bravo's near post.

Sterling made immediate amends after Celtic lost possession in central midfield. David Silva played a slide-rule pass behind the defence to Sterling, who turned back inside a defender and slipped a low shot past goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Celtic's third goal also came from a City error, this time by Kolarov, who completely missed the ball as he attempted a clearance from a left-wing cross. Dembele reacted by hooking a shot over his shoulder and into the bottom corner.

Still the hosts couldn't keep the lead. Silva played in Sergio Aguero, his shot was parried out by Gordon and Nolito scored from the rebound.


Read more on:    manchester city  |  champions league  |  soccer

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