It looked like it would shape up to be a great game after there were two goals in the first eight minutes. It should have had 23 goals mathematically. Alas, the second half was a little lacklustre. It looked more like the contest expected between two teams who already knew their fate. The game ended 1–1 and Manchester City progressed to the knockout stages.
December is the month of returns. Usually it’s the shite grey jumper from your auntie Louise, but Patrick Roberts’ return was to The Etihad… with a goal. I say return, he hasn’t actually played here for City yet.
He had a great game, turning Gael Clichy at every opportunity, and he caught Pep Guardiola’s eye. Guardiola says that Roberts’ place will be assessed in the summer when he returns.
If this game was a song… Holding Back The Years
Pablo Zabaleta rolled back the years as he moved from right-back into midfield. He didn’t play as a holding Gareth Barry midfielder though, Zabaleta channelled his inner-Yaya and played as a box-to-box midfielder… and he demanded a birthday cake. Captain Zab showed yet again that you write him off at your peril.
Yes, I’ve been to the year 2000
Phil Foden made the City bench for the first time in this match at the ripe age of 16. The young lad is not one of the regular academy players that often links up with the first team. The likes of Maffeo and Tosin Adarabioyo started the match as fellow usual suspect Angelino made the bench, but this was new territory for Stockport lad Foden. Foden was born in this millennium, so it is almost terrifying that he is playing football in the Champions League (well, he didn’t actually come on).
Phil doesn’t remember dial up internet, thinks Arnold Schwarzenegger is a politician, and has never seen a real-life paper book. Oh, how times have changed! Foden is testament to the great work that City have put into their academy though. For a few years, there has been a distinct lack of players that have made any meaningful step-up to City’s squad, but since a large investment into systems at their academy, many more are joining Kelechi Iheanacho, Aleix Garcia et al in the first team squad.Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Man of the Match
Silkay Ilkay gets it again with another great display! The German is really beginning to set into a groove at City now and show why Guardiola paid £15million for Gündoğan in the summer. He started most moves, as he has such a great ability to turn so quickly after receiving the ball. Gündoğan seems to know where he’s going before anybody else on the pitch.
The Scots came to town to cheer on Celtic and brought a great atmosphere with them! The City fans were happy to see some atmosphere in the often quiet away end and joined in with the Celtic fans. It did all get a little heated in the end though with a few arrests, and one Celtic fan being arrested for throwing a burger at a police horse. The horse is in a stable condition. (Stable? Get it? I’m wasted here.)
Monday night will see the draw for the UEFA Champions League knock-outs, as City could get either Monaco, Napoli, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, or Borussia Dortmund.