Thursday 21 November 2019

Kyle Walker forced to play in goal after Bravo red card as Man City hold out for draw with Atlanta

Atlanta 1 Man City 1

Kyle Walker was forced to play in goal for Man City after Claudio Bravo was sent off late on. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine
Kyle Walker was forced to play in goal for Man City after Claudio Bravo was sent off late on. Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Andy Hampson

Manchester City will have to wait to secure their place in the last-16 of the Champions League after an eventful 1-1 draw with Atalanta.

Raheem Sterling struck early for the Premier League champions in Milan but Gabriel Jesus missed a penalty before Mario Pasalic levelled in a dramatic second half that saw City reduced to 10 men.

Goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, a half-time replacement for the injured Ederson, was controversially sent off 10 minutes from time for bringing down Josip Ilicic.

Kyle Walker had to play in goal for the closing minutes but City held on for a draw that still maintains their healthy position at the top of Group C.

With qualification the prize for a victory, manager Pep Guardiola had intended to leave nothing to chance by fielding a strong side. Only Sergio Aguero of the probable starters for Sunday's clash at Liverpool was rested.

By the end, however, he may have been counting the cost with the crucial figure of Ederson joining a lengthy injury list.

There were huge swathes of empty seats at the San Siro but Atalanta, whose own ground does not meet UEFA requirements, still brought a large and noisy following from Bergamo.

The 32,147 crowd still made for a great atmosphere and the Italians were almost rewarded with an early goal after Ilkay Gundogan fluffed a clearance but Hans Hateboer volleyed wide.

Atalanta were to rue the miss as City took the lead after seven minutes with a sublime goal.

PA Media

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