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Celtic 3-3 Manchester City, 2016 Champions League: 3 Things we Learned

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Incredible game! What a fight from City!

Celtic FC v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Manchester City are still unbeaten this season after a spectacular 3-3 draw against Celtic FC, thanks to goals from Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling and Nolito, with Moussa Dembele (2) and Kieran Tierney scoring for Celtic. The Citizens had a tough time playing in the incredible atmosphere in Glasgow, and one of the best games in recent Champions League history ended with both teams earning a point.

The game started on fire, with the Hoops pressuring the ball to get it back and attack, and that plan worked after just three minutes, when Dembele put the hosts in front with a tap-in goal inside the box. Kolo Touré nearly doubled the lead one minute later, but Claudio Bravo stopped the shot.

Celtic's intense start was controlled by City after a few minutes, and the Sky Blues came back into the game thanks to Fernandinho's smart finish in the box. Just seven minutes later, though, Celtic once again took the lead in a quick counter-attack, with Tierney's shot deflecting off Sterling and beating Bravo. But City came back thanks to an amazing goal by Sterling, and the insanity reached new levels after just 30 minutes of action.

After the second equalizer, though, the visitors were in complete control of the final ten minutes, having possession inside the opposition's half, making smart runs off the ball and controlling the tempo of the game, and Gundogan nearly put the Citizens in front after a beautiful passing sequence ended with the German's shot going just wide of the post.

The second half began just like the first: with a Moussa Dembele goal. After Aleks Kolarov failed to control a cross, the Celtic striker scored his second of the game with a tremendous finish. Ten minutes later, City fought back AGAIN and tied the score for a third time thanks to a good Nolito goal.

Both teams went forward chasing the game-winning score in the final minutes, but they couldn't find it and in the end, both teams deservedly earned a point from one of the most spectacular matches we've seen in the Champions League.


Celtic: Gordon | Lustig, Touré, Sviatchenko, Tierney | Bitton (Griffiths), Brown | Sinclair, Rogic (Armstrong), Forrest (Roberts) | Dembele

Goals: Dembele (3', 46'), Tierney (20')

Man City: Bravo | Zabaleta, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy (Stones) | Fernandinho | Sterling, Gundogan, Silva, Nolito (Fernando) | Agüero

Goals: Fernandinho (12'), Sterling (28'), Nolito (55')


3 Things

1 - Raheem Sterling continues to impress

The young winger was fantastic in this game, troubling the left side of Celtic's defense with his quickness and scoring a fantastic goal to tie the game in the first half. Sterling is another player under Guardiola, and his performance was pivotal for the Citizens' win in this game. Raheem will improve even more as the games go by, but what he has done in City's perfect start is nothing short of fantastic.

2 - Kevin De Bruyne is a huge absence

This is no surprise, but the Belgian was sorely missed even though the team won on Wednesday. His creativity, movement and final pass were all absent in this game, and while Silva and Gundogan did play a very good part, it could have been a much better game if Kevin was on the pitch. City were still able to cope without him and get a victory, sure, but it's impossible to see this team being really special without its best player, at least right now.

3 - Aleksandar Kolarov at center-back is a big risk

Guardiola's idea when using Kolarov in that position is to have a ball-playing central defender to keep possession and make plays from the back, and that works very well when City dominate the ball in most games. Against a Celtic team that pressured the defense and attacked the back four at all times, Kolarov struggled because he isn't a great defender. He made a terrible mistake in Celtic's third goal and looked lost whenever he had to mark someone. Pep will never trade his ideas to make it easier to win, but he sure makes it easy to lose with Kolarov at center-back.