Patrick Roberts scored against his parent club as Celtic exited Europe with their heads held high, even if Kelechi Iheanacho's quick reply earned a makeshift City side a draw.
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The spoils were shared in England as Manchester City and Celtic played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in their final UEFA Champions League Group C match.
Patrick Roberts, playing against his parent club, gave the visitors a perfect start curling a shot past Willy Caballero after a jinking run only for Kelechi Iheanacho to level with an equally composed finish at the other end three minutes later.
Moussa Dembélé and Iheanacho passed up presentable chances before the interval, but substitutes Leigh Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven missed even better opportunities late in the second half which would have given the Hoops a rare away victory.
Key player: Patrick Roberts
When the group stage draw was made, Roberts was desperate to play against his parent club. Scott Sinclair's early-season form meant he had to be content with a place on the bench for September's 3-3 draw at Celtic Park. However, Sinclair's hamstring injury handed the 19-year-old winger a start here and he grabbed it with both hands. The fine solo goal came in an energetic performance full of trickery, which troubled the makeshift City defence all evening.
Celtic struggle to get over the line
Given the number of chances they created, Celtic will feel this was another game they could have won. The Celtic management and players thought they could have won the first game in Glasgow, but had Dembélé, who scored twice that night, Griffiths and MacKay-Steven been more clinical here, the Hoops could have finished on a more positive note.
The answer to Agüero dilemma?
Iheanacho has started four at club level games this season. He has scored five goals. In his City career, leaving substitutions to one side, there have been 18 starts and 19 goals. The Nigerian has an impressive sense of where the goal is, as he demonstrated after eight minutes. There might have been more but he will hope he has showed Josep Guardiola that he can go some way towards filling the gap left by Sergio Agüero's domestic suspension in the coming weeks.
Simon Hart, Manchester City (@UEFAcomSimonH)
The result may have counted for nothing but there was plenty of intrigue. First there was the chance to see City teenagers Tosin Adarabioyo and Pablo Maffeo on their group-stage debuts. Whether Adarabioyo imagined his first UEFA Champions League start would come in a back three alongside two full-backs is a moot point – and it took only four minutes for the makeshift defence to concede – but Guardiola was experimenting.
In the end, though, it was a player at the other end of the age scale, Pablo Zabaleta, who stole the show. City's longest-serving player tapped into all of his knowhow with a savvy display in an unaccustomed midfield holding role.
Alex O'Henley, Celtic (@UEFAcomAlexOH)
Brendan Rodgers talked about this campaign being a learning process for his young side, with a view to returning to the group stage next season. This was another step in the right direction. A tally of three points is three more than many predicted in the toughest of groups, but the experience gained over these six matches together with a few more astute signings gives Celtic the platform to make more of an impact next season.