It was a goal thriller at Celtic Park last night. Before kick off if you had said to many there would be six goals in this fixture I’m sure we can all agree that a draw wouldn’t be the option you’d have gone for.
Celtic have really come together as a side this season under new manager Brendan Rodgers and last night proved just that. They kicked off their Champions League campaign to Barcelona, a game many didn’t expect to see Celtic get much from but the result really wasn’t one fans will want us to remind them of. An absolute thrashing of Rangers a few days earlier had the fans ready to kick off this group in style.
It wasn’t to be so as you can imagine having to play Manchester City soon after wasn’t ideal, but then again this is Celtic. Every player that has had the chance to play at Celtic Park has been taken back by the atmosphere. As a fan it is something you will never be able to explain to anybody until you experience it for yourself.
Traveling to many stadiums over the years you would be a fool to say anywhere else in the world compares. It’s an advantage Celtic have over any side that turns up on the night, even sitting at home you can get a feel for just how special Champions league nights are there.
City who are in fine form this season and also under new manager Pep Guardiola came to Celtic Park I’m sure expecting a decent game not as easy as Barcelona had it a few weeks earlier but still one I’m sure they all (City fans included) expected to walk away with three points.
From the kick off Celtic looked as though they were well up for this fixture and not one bit put off by the pricey 11 surrounding them. With Celtic dominating possession early on it was no surprise to see them win a free kick, 35 yards from goal surely nothing was to come of it?
Bang on the 3rd minute Celtic were one up. A well worked free kick with a final touch from Moussa Dembele. Celtic Park went wild the stadium was literally shaking. Was this to be Celtic’s night? Celtic were all over City even after the goal. Although I worried, Celtic scoring early on can at times be the worst thing to happen. They have history of sitting back, after three minutes on the clock it would be a long night if that was the case.
City as you can imagine stunned by the side they were up against began to regain a bit more possession. They levelled up the game on the 12th minute. Kolarov took aim at the goal from 25 yards. His shot blocked away but it was collected by Fernandinho, who rolled it past Craig Gordon.
What a game we had on our hands. Typically over the years watching Celtic I expected this to be the start of the end. City were just too good when they got on the ball, but Celtic under Rodgers are a different side and yet again from the kick off were straight back up the pitch.
With less than seven minutes to settle ourselves Rogic took a charge through the middle, it would seem City’s midfield had taken a tea break as Rogic passed the ball through to Tierney. With almost a blink of an eye Celtic were again in front on the 20th minute. Ok the ball took a deflection off Raheem Sterling but it was all Tierney’s handy work.
This was without doubt one of the best games of football I’ve seen in a long time. I say that as Celtic cruised in front of City. Celtic continued with possession but City certainly looked like they had another goal in them.
This time they got lucky, a poor pass from Dembele to Brown saw City march on. David Silva had the space required to thread a pass through to Sterling, who finished well. Ok it was a great goal but was avoidable.
Four goals within the first half and they weren’t all for City, I was happy with that as the referee blew it up. Everyone was talking about this game on social media as those who had written Celtic off logged off for the night.
With the second half underway I didn’t know what to expect. Nervous yet excited at the way in which both sides had played this is real football on display. Surprise surprise and I mean that literally Celtic went in front again.
Two minutes into the second half and Tierney crosses the ball. Kolarov takes his eye off the ball making a mess of his clearance and Dembele pulls off one of the most beautiful finishes I’ve seen in a long time. An over the head kick that lands right in the back of the net. Is this a dream? No its very much reality Celtic are just brilliant.
The dream didn’t last too long as City yet again pressed up the pitch with Aguero playing a decent one-two with Silva and he’s in on goal. Gordon saves the initial shot but Nolito is then presented with a simple tap in from the rebound. It’s all level again on the 55th minute.
The game was pretty evenly matched but as a Celtic supporter I would be lying if I didn’t say the last 10 minutes didn’t give me the fear of life. Losing this game after this performance would be heartbreaking. A corner in the last minute for City was cleared and the final whistle went. Celtic had achieved what some would say was the impossible.
Celtic were outstanding, for me the only disappointment was that they allowed Manchester City back into the game so quickly after taking the lead. The fans yet again a vital factor to the result, paradise as they say the important 12th man on the night.
With Celtic claiming their first point in Group C and spoiling Pep Guardiola’s perfect record in charge of Manchester City it was a great night all round. Celtic who were written off by just about every pundit proved how important it is to have that support at home.
City may be one of the richest clubs in the world that boasts some of the biggest names in the game too but they lack one vital ingredient on the nights like last night, fans.