A second-string Manchester City side could only manage a draw against Celtic in the final group game of the UEFA Champions League. It was a dead rubber but a packed Etihad came in expectantly to witness another entertaining clash between the two teams who had played out an end-to-end 3-3 draw. This match was off to a flyer with City loanee Patrick Roberts calling upon his inner Messi and Iheanacho equalising in a frenetic opening 10 minutes. With Guardiola fielding almost a second string eleven, it was expectedly a more even contest between the teams.
Let us take a look at how the City players fared in the clash.
Did not have the easiest of matches. But he was up to the task when called upon. Made a couple of sharp first half saves and produced another from Mackay-Steven late on. With the jittery Bravo under pressure, Willy might fancy his chances if he can keep up.
Solid while defending. Was trying hard not to commit errors which might have hindered his attacking output.
Was stationed at centre-back alongside rookie Tosin Adarabioyo and was up against the buzzing Dembele. Stuck at it and also did well to guide his partner as the match wore on.
Had difficulty in adjusting to Dembele’s clever movements and pace. But showed maturity as he recovered and dealt pretty well from after the opening 20 minutes.
Not his best outing. Beaten time and again by Roberts. His defending, which was his strength, is more of a weakness nowadays. An exit over the summer looks likely.
Asked to play in central midfield and took over various roles. Was a DM and also played as a box to box midfielder at one point. His passion and commitment carried him through.
Was an assured presence in front of the back four in an experimental team. Seems slow on the ball at times but he can be an asset. His passing and vision are underrated and his combative approach overshadows that aspect.
His pace was at times overwhelming for the Celtic midfield and backline was he has to work on his end product a lot. Needs to get minutes and has to be afforded the opportunity to develop his skills.
Did not exert himself too much and had a fairly comfortable run out in a slightly advanced role.
Laid on the pass for Iheanacho’s goal and was full of running and hard work. Though he did fail to be clinical in a couple of key moments.
A well-taken goal to get City back into the match but showed that he is still a work in progress after missing a chance to take a shot on goal in the very next attack. Needs to add another dimension to his build-up play.
NAVAS – 6/10
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