Dembele is on fire and four other things we learned from Celtic v Manchester City

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their third goal

Few people expected a six-goal thriller at Celtic Park but that's what fans were treated to when Champions League action got underway last night.

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring a goalCeltic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring a goal 

It was supposed to be a mismatch but instead the Scottish Premier League leaders may have just set out the blueprint for other teams to beat their English counterparts.

In the 3-3 encounter, Celtic were never behind against Manchester City, instead taking the game to them and using attacking football to unsettle their opponents and produce a scoreline that could just rescue their European campaign.

Fans are already calling it one of the greatest games of all time and there was plenty of exceptional football to enjoy. Here's five things we learned from the match.

Celtic may still have their place in Europe

After Celtic’s 7-0 defeat to Barcelona, many people had written the team off ahead of last night’s clash with the Premier League leaders.

Nobody expected a six-goal thriller between the two sides and, whilst qualification from the group of death might look unlikely, the Europa league is definitely not out of their sights.

If Barcelona and Manchester City can both take three points from Monchengladbach, Celtic will have the task of defeating the German side at Parkhead to qualify for the second tier of European football.

Given the energetic and ambitious game they played last night, this is not out of the question.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Celtic manager Brendan RodgersManchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Pep’s winning streak comes to an end

Celtic’s inspired performance produced something that no one in the Premier League has achieved so far in the season.

Not only did they score three goals against the undefeated Manchester City team but they also held them to a draw, a result that Pep Guardiola’s men have yet to settle with but Celtic stepped up and delivered.

Spurred on by a deafening crowd, Celtic put Man City, who had not conceded two goals all season, down inside of three minutes and it was enough to stun their opponents and set the tone for a real battle.

Celtic would take the lead two more times before the final whistle and Pep’s perfect season was over.

Sterling showed he has character

Whilst lesser players may have shrunk away in a game where they’d netted an own goal, Raheem Sterling showed he was completely unaffected.

In fact, he took it one step further and set out to make amends for that mark on the score sheet no less than eight minutes later when a perfectly-weighted pass from David Silva allowed him to cut back inside and roll the ball in to level the score again.

The truth is there was little he could have done about the own goal which deflected off him and passed Claudio Bravo to put Celtic up 2-1 but he set about to make it right anyway.

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling scores their second goalManchester City's Raheem Sterling scores their second goal

Celtic’s defence will need to step up

If Brendan Rodgers hopes to keeps his men’s European campaign alive, then Celtic’s defence have plenty of work to do.

It was far too easy for Manchester City to pressure the home goal and take advantage of the gaps the hosts were leaving with their attacks.

They have yet to hold a clean sheet under the Scottish Premiership under Rodgers, conceding 22 goals in 15 games, and it’s something they definitely need to improve.

 

Dembele was phenomenal

In an outstanding match with plenty of exceptional performances, few stood out as much as Celtic’s Moussa Dembele.

Although he may have been offside for the game’s opening goal, there was nothing wrong about his superb overhead kick to find the back of the net and put Celtic up for the third time.

When the French striker completed his brace, he brought his tally for the season up to 19 and his twelfth at home for Celtic.

Dembele also played his part in the defensive effort, tracking back and clearing the ball on four occasions.

Should his form continue, Celtic may have trouble hanging on to him in January.

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