1-1 McGowan 78
0-1 Petrov 53
- Match reports
- 06 August 2008 22:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre match news
Vedran Corluka defies press speculation that he's down in London talking to Tottenham by taking his place on the pitch at right back, much to the delight of the City fans, who sang his name before the start.
Valeri Bojinov is rewarded for his contribution at Stockport on Saturday with a first start for the senior side since his horror injury. For Celtic, former City man, Georgios Samaras takes his place on the Hoops' bench.
A tight opening few minutes saw both teams feel themselves into the game, but it was City with the first real sight of goal on five minutes.
Slick build up from the back saw Petrov break from his own half, and following Vassell’s clever lay off, Michael Johnson could only blast the ball wide from about 20-yards.
Again Petrov was City’s main dangerman, twisting and turning the experienced Hinkel at any given opportunity, putting in numerous quality deliveries during a rather tepid first half.
He will surely be Hughes’ primary source of ammunition this season for whichever striker or striker’s he settles on.
City were slightly the better team of the half with Hughes opting for a more ‘Premier League’ level of team selection against Strachan’s mixed bag of players hoping for a place in the squad ahead of their opening game of this season’s title defence on Sunday.
Three minutes before half time, City should have taken the lead after Richards headed Petrov’s left wing corner back across goal, but Darius Vassell could quite keep his header down.
HALF TIME: Celtic 0-0 City
City make four changes at the break with Hart, Dunne, Corluka and Bojinov all replaced by Schmeichel, Sturridge, Onuoha and Tal Ben Haim, for his second City appearance.
Celtic brought on the familiar face of Georgios Samaras and youngster Paul Caddis.
And after a rather pedestrian first half, City stepped up a gear just eight minutes into the second 45, as Martin Petrov fired the Blues in front with a trademark finish.
Vassell again provided a clever lay off, this time with his chest, and Sturridge took the attack to Celtic before playing in Petrov. The Bulgarian latched on to the well weighted pass and motored into the box before blasting the ball into the corner of Boruc's net.
Celtic responded with a couple of substitutions and one of those, Paddy McCourt, should have brought the hosts level but he could only shank his far post volley into the crowd.
With 15 minutes remaining City had a couple of chances that could have made it two first Vassell ran into the keeper, which drew shouts for a penalty, but his tame effort couldn't beat Boruc. Then Ben Haim's clever chipped ball was just too high for Sturridge to latch on to right in front of goal.
Then Celtic hit back with an equaliser with just 12 minutes to play, as youngster Paul McGowan claimed the scruffy goal, as he finished off a low ball in from the right.
Back up the other end, Sturridge hit a beautiful left footed volley that had Boruc scrambling, luckily for the Polish stopper it flew just wide.
The Hoops stepped their game up following the leveller and almost stole it late on as McGowan’s volley from Caddis’ cross grazed the bar and flew over.
But in the end the draw was typical of many pre-season games witnessed before, although City looked sharper than Celtic, who kick-of the SPL season this weekend.
The plus points for Hughes tonight was more game time for Tal Ben Haim and the form of Martin Petrov.
FULL TIME: Celtic 1-1 City