Celtic and City thrill in high-scoring draw

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Celtic and Manchester City played out to a thrilling 3-3 draw in their UEFA Champions League Group C encounter at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

  • Celtic 3 Manchester City 3
  • Fernandinho cancels out Dembele opener
  • Celtic lead again through Sterling own goal
  • Sterling equalises with composed finish
  • Dembele bicycle-kick makes it 3-2
  • Nolito restores parity for Citizens again

Match Summary

Celtic started with tremendous pace and intensity as Moussa Dembele gave them an early advantage. However, Fernandinho drew the visitors level in the 12th minute with an instinctive finish.

Nonetheless, the Bhoys continued to play with pace and purpose and a Raheem Sterling own goal would hand them a 2-1 lead in the 20th minute. Eight minutes later it was 2-2 when David Silva released Sterling, who produced a composed finish past Graig Gordon.

After the break, a mistake from Aleksandar Kolarov saw Moussa Dembele grab his brace with an excellent bicycle kick past Claudio Bravo to give Celtic a 3-2 lead.

But City's control of possession for long periods would eventually count when Gordon saved Sergio Aguero's shot and it fell to Nolito, who finished in the 55th minute to clinch a share of the spoils.

FULL-TIME: Celtic 3-3 @ManCity #UCL #CelticvCity #COYBIG

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Full Report

The atmosphere at Celtic Park was crackling with excitement as Brendan Rodgers' men attempted to get their Group C campaign back on track against high-flying City.

The Citizens were expected to dominate proceedings, but it was the Hoops who made the perfect start when Dembele slotted home after a good set-piece routine from the hosts in just the third minute. Tom Rogic clipped a ball to the far post for James Forrest, who helped it across the face of goal. Dembele was quick to react and got the last touch past a stranded Bravo.

It was all Celtic in the opening 10 minutes as Scott Sinclair, Kolo Toure and Rogic all had moments in which it looked like they might add a second. However, it would be City who drew level in the 12th minute when Fernandinho exploited an intense period of pressure by the visitors.

Pep Guardiola's side kept the ball alive from a corner and when Kolarov mishit his shot, the Brazilian midfielder was on hand to control it and then scuff his effort past Gordon.

The opening 20 minutes had been played at a frenetic pace but finally it seemed City were beginning to get a stranglehold on possession. Yet, it would be the Glasgow giants who again hit the front.

Kieran Tierney found space on City's right and hit in a low powerful cross into the box. Sterling, who was tracking back defensively, was unable to get out of the way of the ball and it deflected into the net past Bravo to make it 2-1 to the hosts.

Nonetheless, some of the visitors' attacking play was superb and in the 28th minute their quality would count as Sterling found the equaliser. After Dembele lost possession, Silva sent the England winger clear down the middle and he applied a composed finish past Gordon.

The momentum was with City and Ilkay Gundogan nearly curled in an effort toward the end of the first period.

After the break, it was the Hoops who would once more take the lead. More good work from Tierney down the left saw a cross hit into the box. Kolarov was casual in his attempted clearance and the ball looped up into the air towards Dembele, whose bicycle kick wrong-footed Bravo and it was 3-2 at an ecstatic Celtic Park in the 46th minute.

However, the Citizens were taking control with their passing and movement causing Toure and Erik Sviatchenko at the back all kinds of problems.

Eventually the weight of pressure would count as another intricate movement saw Silva spring Aguero clear inside the box. The Argentina international's shot was well saved by Gordon, but the rebound fell to Nolito, who tapped home.

At 3-3, the visitors now appeared in complete control as the Scottish champions looked weary of chasing after the ball.  As the contest reached the final stages, it seemed that City would likely be the team that grabbed the winning goal. 

After more good work by Sterling on the inside right flank, Fernandinho had space to shoot from the edge of the box but he blazed just over when he may have done better in the 82nd minute.

City continued to probe although the intensity of the contest decreased in the final few minutes. Celtic's defence were able to hang on as an enthralling encounter in Glasgow ended 3-3.