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Manchester City 1-1 Celtic, 2016 Champions League: Player Ratings

Man City finished their Champions League group stage with a 1-1 draw against Celtic at the Etihad Tuesday night.

Manchester City FC v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester City were able to shake off and early goal from Celtic to play out a 1-1 draw on Tuesday evening in their final Champions League group stage game. Before the game it was already confirmed City would finish second in their group behind Barcelona but avoiding a loss was a nice way to end the group stage, especially with the amount of rotation in the squad.

The squad City ultimately played with included a few youngsters and a few position changes but in the end performed pretty well for most of the night. The biggest talking point was Pablo Zabaleta being inserted into the midfield to everyone's surprise, and perhaps even more surprisingly a very good performance from the Argentine.

On loan City winger Patrick Roberts opened the scoring after waltzing through City’s defense in the opening minutes of the game, but City very quickly regained control and soon tied the game after a terrific pass from Nolito leading to another great goal from Kelechi Iheanacho. For the rest of the game, both teams fashioned a few chances but ultimately no more goals were scored.

Below are our player ratings for each player who saw the pitch on Tuesday evening. With the Premier League back and several suspensions looming Pep must be ready to rotate again as soon as this weekend.

Willy Caballero: 7.0

Despite the early goal, Caballero made a few very good saves to keep City from losing this one. His passing is still extremely suspect, but his shot-stopping might actually be better than City’s current number one, Claudio Bravo.

Pablo Maffeo: 6.5

The youngster showed flashes of his potential but was often out of position and didn't seem comfortable in the pseudo wingback position in which he was deployed for this game. Maffeo looks at his best in the traditional right-back role.

Bacary Sagna: 6.5

Another player in a strange position was normal right-back Bacary Sagna who played most of the game at center-back in a back three. He was probably City’s best defender on the night and hopefully can continue his rise in form in the Premier League.

Tosin Adarabioyo: 6.0

It was great for the youngster to be able to get 90 minutes in this game as it seems less and less likely City will buy another center-back any time soon. Despite the emergence of Aleks Kolarov as a decent CB, City will need more depth in the coming months, and maybe Adarabioyo will provide that.

Gaël Clichy: 5.0

The Frenchman was absolutely burned by Patrick Roberts on a few occasions and is without a doubt responsible for the lone Celtic goal. One has to wonder if something is bothering the Frenchman or if it boils down to a lack of playing time.

Fernando: 7.0

The Brazilian will be relied upon heavily in the coming weeks with stalwart Fernandinho on suspension. While Fernando is very good defensively, his passing and decision making leave a lot to be desired.

Ilkay Gundogan: 6.5

Often trying to play several different midfield positions the German was almost run ragged. His availability at the weekend might be in question after going the full 90 on Tuesday.

Pablo Zabaleta: 7.5 (City Man of the Match)

Who knew the Argentine could be an old school box-to-box midfielder? Zabaleta played the role very well on Tuesday and might have Guardiola thinking if Zaba might be an option in the midfield going forward.

Leroy Sané: 7.0

Flashes is all we’ve really seen of the young German winger, but with each game Sané seems to be settling in better and better. If Raheem Sterling is still out with a fitness issue, Sané might be the most likely replacement.

Nolito: 7.0

This was one of the better performances from the Spaniard in recent memory. Nolito played a wonderful through ball to spring Iheanacho for City’s goal and his tenacity with the high press is always on point.

Kelechi Iheanacho: 7.0

With Sergio Agüero suspended until New Year's Eve the young Nigerian must step up and Tuesday was a great starting point in this run. Iheanacho was lively and hopefully with some of City’s more regular midfielders Nacho can really shine.


Jesus Navas: 6.0

Navas provided exactly what City needed when he came on, more width. If Sterling will continue to miss games, Navas could also be seen as an answer on the right.