Atalanta 1-1 Manchester City: Kyle Walker plays as emergency goalkeeper after Claudio Bravo sees red
Bravo replaced Ederson at half-time but was dismissed meaning Walker stepped in as an emergency goalkeeper
Last Updated: 07/11/19 11:31am
Manchester City survived playing with Kyle Walker in goal after Claudio Bravo saw red in a 1-1 draw with Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday.
After taking an early lead through Raheem Sterling (7), City looked in control but a missed penalty from Gabriel Jesus (42) proved costly as the Italians improved after the break and equalised through Mario Pasalic (49).
The game took an extraordinary turn late on when Bravo - on as a half-time substitute for Ederson - hauled down Josip Ilicic (80) and was dismissed, meaning Walker was summoned from the bench to play in goal.
City protected their inexperienced goalkeeper well in the closing stages with him only required to make one save from a free-kick.
The result still leaves City in pole position to qualify as Group C winners with 10 points from their four games. Next up for City is Sunday's monstrous clash with Liverpool, live on Sky Sports.
How City were left hanging on in Milan....
The San Siro hosted this encounter as Atalanta - Champions League debutants - are unable to play matches at their ground as it does not meet UEFA requirements. City did the magnificent stadium proud with an electric and classy start that led to the opening goal after seven minutes.
Bernardo Silva span a ball into Jesus who showed incredible awareness to flick a no-look pass perfectly into Sterling's path and he netted his 14th goal of the season across all competitions.
Atalanta: Gollini (7), Toloi (6), Djimsiti (6), Palomino (7), Hateboer (6), de Roon (6), Freuler (6), Castagne (7), Pasalic (7), Gomez (7), Ilicic (8)
Subs: Malinovskiy (6), Muriel (6)
Man City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (6), Fernandinho (6), Otamendi (6), Mendy (6), Gundogan (7), De Bruyne (7), Bernardo (7), Mahrez (7), Sterling (8), Jesus (7)
Subs: Bravo (5), Walker (7), Aguero (6)
Man of the match: Raheem Sterling
It was one-way traffic with Riyad Mahrez, Sterling and Jesus causing havoc for the Italian back five but a second goal evaded them as a mixture of goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini and wasteful finishing kept the score at 1-0.
Jesus was given a chance from 12 yards on 43 minutes after VAR had spotted a handball by Ilicic following a Sterling free-kick that flew into the Atalanta wall. However, Jesus' spot-kick attempt rolled wide of the far post.
Pep Guardiola named a strong side with Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva all starting as he made five changes from the win over Southampton on Saturday.
City appeared after the half-time break without goalkeeper Ederson who was taken off with a muscular problem, meaning Bravo was called from the bench. His first duty was to pick the ball out of his net as Chelsea loanee Pasalic headed home a tasty left-wing cross from Alejandro Gomez with once again City's vulnerability at the back clear to see.
Chances were drying up for City and the game took a twist with 10 minutes remaining when Ilicic broke through the City defence and Bravo raced out of his area and could only take down the striker with the goal at his mercy.
There was a long delay before City were able to send on England defender Walker as a replacement goalkeeper, with Mahrez replaced.
Walker's first involvement saw him fumble a free-kick but City managed the final stages by keeping the ball in the corner to protect their new man in the sticks.
Man of the match: Raheem Sterling
The England international now has 14 goals across all competitions this season - only Robert Lewandowski (21) has scored more in the top five European leagues this season. Yet again he was City's brightest spark, especially in the first half where his link play with Jesus and Mahrez was at times a joy to behold.
Pep Guardiola: "The second half we didn't do exactly what we should do. It was few chances conceded against one of the teams who create more. It was a perfect result away and we need one more point to go though.
"In this competition you know you have your chances and moments and you have to take it. But with the problems we have, we made a good first half.
"First half we were outstanding and second we suffered. In the last 15 minutes we had the issue with the new keeper."
Analysis: City walking wounded?
City travel to Anfield on Sunday knowing that a defeat would see them fall nine points behind in the Premier League title race and the injury problems are mounting for Guardiola. Ederson looks likely to join David Silva in becoming the latest man to be ruled out after the midfielder picked up a muscle injury against Southampton. They would be part of an already crowded treatment room that consists of Rodri, Aleks Zinchenko, Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte.
Many will argue City are well stocked for personnel in reserve but having to trust the 36-year-old Bravo in the Anfield pressure cooker will be a worry for everyone associated with City. The Chilean looked low on confidence in his second-half stint in the San Siro and you can't really blame him for the rustiness considering he's only played two Premier League games in the last two years. Remember, Guardiola also has Scott Carson in his squad. If Ederson doesn't make it, would Guardiola throw in the on-loan Derby man for an extraordinary debut against his former club in what is the biggest game of the season? However you look at it, Guardiola has plenty to ponder in the coming days.
Stats: Bravo creates history
- Bravo became the first substitute goalkeeper to be sent off in Champions League history.
- Jesus has missed three of his seven penalties taken in all competitions for Manchester City, with this his first failure in the Champions League.
- Manchester City have been shown more red cards in their 18 games in all competitions this season (3) than they were in 61 games last term (2).
How to watch Liverpool vs Man City
Watch Liverpool vs Man City live on Super Sunday from 4pm on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event; Kick-off 4.30pm.
Non-subscribers can watch the game through NOW TV - get a Sky Sports Day Pass for a one-off payment of £9.99.
City now must prepare for Sunday's showdown with Liverpool at Anfield, a game live on Super Sunday. Their next Champions League fixture is against Shakhtar Donetsk on November 26 where a point will be enough to secure qualification.