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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019


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GOOD EVENING, AND welcome along. There are eight more matches in the Champions League this evening, but it’s Group C that we will be concentrating on.

CL fixtures 19 Oct

At the Camp Nou, two old friends go head-to-head as Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola returns home to Barcelona to take on the club he won nine league titles and three European Cups as both a player and a manager. The Catalan giants have his former team-mate Luis Enrique in the hot seat these days.

The other two clubs in that group, Celtic and Borussia Moenchengladbach, also meet at Parkhead.

Team news is in. Having returned from a groin injury in the 4-0 win over Deportivo last weekend, Lionel Messi is back in the Barcelona starting line-up alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has left star striker Sergio Aguero on the bench meaning Kevin de Bruyne could possibly deployed as a false nine.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mascherano, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitic; Suarez, Messi, Neymar.


Manchester City: Bravo; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Gundogan, Fernandinho, Silva; Sterling, De Bruyne, Nolito.

11 goals in nine appearances for El Kun this season. It’s a huge gamble to leave the Argentine marksman out if he’s fully-fit.

Will it pay off for Pep?

Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach - Champions League - Group C - Etihad Stadium Source: Martin Rickett

Starting line-ups from Celtic Park:

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Toure, Sviatchenko, Tierney, Bitton, Brown, Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair, Dembele.


Borussia Monchengladbach: Sommer, Vestergaard, Wendt, Korb, Elvedi, Strobl, Kramer, Stindl, Traore, Hofmann, Hahn.

Guardiola has just been speaking to BT Sport, and confirmed that Aguero’s omission is tactical and not down to an injury. Says he wants more bodies in midfield.

These two have met four times in this competition over the past two years, with Barca coming out on top on all four occasions.

Can Man City end that run tonight or how do you see this going?

Poll Results:

Barcelona win (267)
Draw (31)
Manchester City win (25)

Here come the two sides… let’s hope this one lives up to expectation.

Barca City Source: BT Sport

Flag 1Mins

KICK-OFF – The visitors get us going in a bright orange and blue change strip. Barcelona wear their traditional colours.


Silva attempts to find De Bruyne, who has taken up a role as City’s most advanced attacking outlet, but Ter Stegen is out quickly to smother the ball.


There could be an early change for the home team here. Alba appears to have picked up a knock and French international Lucas Digne is readying himself.


SUBSTITUTION – Alba trudges off to be replaced by Digne, a summer signing from Paris Saint-Germain.


GOAL! Arsenal are 1-0 up against Ludogorets of Bulgaria thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s wonderful chip.

Flag 17Mins

GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City (Lionel Messi) 

Barca are in front. Messi breaks and plays in Iniesta, who attempts a reverse pass back to him. Fernandinho loses his footing and with the Man City defence stood still, Messi walks past Bravo to score the opener.

An absolute gift and Guardiola will not be happy with that defending.


Here’s that goal:


BOOKING  - Silva picks up a yellow card after fouling his international team-mate Pique.


Umtiti sets Neymar away down the left, but Bravo gets out like a light to snuff out the danger.

Minutes later, the Brazilian forward’s free-kick is headed over by Rakitic.


SAVE! Ter Stegen keeps out Gundogan with a strong hand.


ANOTHER CHANGE – More injury trouble for Barcelona, as Pique is coming off with a problem. Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu is introduced in his place.


CAUTION – Fernandinho dives in on Neymar and goes into the book.


At Celtic Park, it remains 0-0 between the Hoops and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Celtic v Borussia Monchengladbach - UEFA Champions League - Group C - Celtic Park Borussia Monchengladbach's Nico Elvedi (right) and Celtic striker Moussa Dembele. Source: Andrew Milligan


CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS! First, Stones heads wide at the back post when he should be hitting the target.

Then Suarez forces Bravo into a double save — with his foot before palming over the bar.


SECOND HALF – We’re back underway. No changes on the other side.


JUST WIDE – Umtiti gets his head onto a corner but can’t direct it on target. Decent chance.

Flag 54Mins

RED CARD! Manchester City are down to ten men as goalkeeper Claudio Bravo receives his marching orders.

The former Barcelona stopper runs out of goal, plays the ball straight to Suarez, then handles the resulting shot outside the box. Utter madness.

Bring back Joe Hart etc.


DOUBLE SUBSTITUTION – City bring on back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero for Nolito, while Gael Clichy is introduced for the injured Zabaleta.


GOAL! Celtic 0-1 Borussia Moenchengladbach (Lars Stindl) 

The Hoops are behind as Kolo Toure is caught out and Lars Stindl fires past Craig Gordon.

Flag 61Mins

GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Manchester City (Lionel Messi) 

That’s two. De Bruyne gives away possession and Iniesta finds Messi, who doubles his tally for the night.

Flag 71Mins

GOAL! Barcelona 3-0 Manchester City (Lionel Messi)

And there’s the hat-trick. City sloppily give away the ball yet again and Suarez tees up Barca’s main man for a third.

What did Eamon Dunphy say at half-time… he’s in decline?!

Flag 74Mins

GOAL! Celtic 0-2 Borussia Moenchengladbach (Andre Hahn)

It doesn’t look like it’s going to be Celtic’s night. They trail their German opponents by two.


RED CARD! Now it’s Barcelona’s turn to have a player sent off as substitute Mathieu heads for an early shower after a silly tackle minutes after picking up a yellow.

10 v 10 for the final 16 minutes.


FINAL SUBS – Andre Gomes replaces Iniesta, and Aguero is introduced for Gundogan.




SAVED! Neymar steps up, but sees his spot-kick saved by Caballaro after Kolarov had brought down Messi.

Flag 91Mins

GOAL! Barcelona 4-0 Manchester City (Neymar) 

The Brazilian makes up for his missed penalty by dancing past a couple of City players before blasting home.

About the author:

Ben Blake