Manchester City's winning run ends with 3-3 draw at Celtic
GLASGOW: Manchester City came from behind three times to draw 3-3 at Celtic in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday that ended the English team's 100 percent start to the season under new coach Pep Guardiola.
City's winning run to open the campaign stopped at 10 games in all competitions — one short of matching the English record — in a Group C match littered with poor defending by both teams at Parkhead.
Fernandinho and Raheem Sterling scored equalisers for City in an action-packed first half after Celtic went ahead twice through Moussa Dembele, in the third minute, and Sterling's own goal in the 20th.
Dembele restored Celtic's lead barely a minute into the second half after Aleksandar Kolarov's defensive error, only for Nolito to equalize for City in the 55th.
City had previously won six matches in the Premier League, three in the Champions League between the group stage and qualifying, and one in the English League Cup with a series of free-scoring displays. That put the team within sight of Tottenham's 11 straight wins to start the season in the 1960-61 campaign.
"It's OK, it's one point, we didn't lose," said Guardiola, whose team faces former club Barcelona in back-to-back matches next.
"I am pretty sure the players didn't think they were going to win every game this season. It is impossible. Not even the best team in the world (could do that)."
City went behind for the first time under Guardiola and also conceded more than once for the first time under the Spaniard.
Celtic — thrashed 7-0 by Barcelona in its first group game — pressed high and forced errors in possession from City, whose defense was shambolic at times without rested John Stones and injured captain Vincent Kompany.
"Every time we went forward, we looked like we could score," Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said.
The first example came inside three minutes. James Forrest was left unmarked at the far post from a diagonal free kick and his volleyed cross was glanced goalward by Erik Sviatchenko, with the ball deflecting off Dembele into the net.
Fernandinho equalized in the 12th minute when a wayward shot from Kolarov fell into the path of the midfielder, who controlled and dribbled a left-footed shot into the corner.
Back came Celtic. Kieran Tierney broke forward down the left and his cross took a deflection off a sliding Sterling and ricocheted into the net at Claudio Bravo's near post.
Sterling made immediate amends after Celtic lost possession in central midfield. David Silva played a slide-rule pass behind the defense to Sterling, who turned back inside a defender and slipped a low shot past goalkeeper Craig Gordon in the 28th.
Celtic's third goal also came from a City error, this time by Kolarov, who completely missed the ball as he attempted a clearance from a left-wing cross. Dembele reacted by hooking a shot over his shoulder and into the bottom corner.
Still the hosts couldn't keep the lead. Silva played in Sergio Aguero, his shot was parried out by Gordon and Nolito scored from the rebound.
After that, it was all City, with Fernandinho shooting just over and Ilkay Gundogan having a deflected shot saved in the final minutes.
"I'm happy with the reaction from the players," Guardiola said. "It's not easy to score three goals away. I don't know how many chances they had after the third goal. We should have won it."
City, a Champions League semifinalist last season, opened group play by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-0.