The green-and-white army will be coming to the Camp Nou on Tuesday in a buoyant mood after Celtic cruised to 5-1 victory over Glasgow rivals Rangers in the Scottish Premier’s first Old Firm clash for four years. The result means they stay top of the table with a 100 per cent record.
A brace from new French signing Moussa Dembélé had Celtic heading for half-time with a 2-0 lead at Parkhead, but Joe Garner pulled one back for the ‘Gers just before the break.
Another new member of Brendan Rodgers’ hoop-clad side, Scott Sinclair, put the Celts back into a two-goal lead on the hour mark. By the time Dembélé completed his hat-trick, Celtic were playing against ten men after Rangers' Philippe Senderos had been sent off for a second yellow. Stuart Armstrong completed the rout deep into injury time.
It was the first time a team had scored five in an Old Firm match since Rangers won 5-1 in November 2000, just three months after Celtic had scored six!
They were billing it as Mourinho versus Guardiola, but it was the Catalan who was smiling after a gripping Manchester derby on Saturday afternoon at Old Trafford. Barça’s Champions League rivals Man City won 2-1 at the home of their local rivals, and that’s four Premiership wins out of four for the blues.
It was a nervy debut in the Man City goal for Claudio Bravo, while another former Barça man Nolito started the game on the left side of attack.
City were good value for the win, going ahead on the quarter hour with a cool finish from Kevin De Bruyne. Questions might have been asked before the game about Guardiola’s decision to field Kelechi Iheanacho as City’s main striker, but the Nigerian was outstanding in the role and thoroughly deserved to add his name to the scoresheet after 36 minutes.
United closed the gap just before the break when former Barça man Zlatan Ibrahimovic was gifted a goal after Bravo fumbled a free kick.
But this always looked like being City’s day and it all adds to the intrigue of seeing what Guardiola’s side will be able to do when they come to Barcelona on October 19.