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Roberts buoyed by Guardiola acclaim

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 7 Dec 2016

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Celtic goal hero Patrick Roberts enjoyed congratulations from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola after the sides played out a 1-1 Champions League draw at the Etihad Stadium.

Roberts, who is 10 months into a one-and-a-half-year loan spell at Parkhead from City, gave his parent club and their celebrated boss a vivid demonstration of his talents with a superbly taken fourth-minute opener in Tuesday’s Group C match.

City equalised through Kelechi Iheanacho shortly afterwards, but Roberts continued to pose questions to a City backline showing plenty of their frailties despite Guardiola shuffling his pack for a dead rubber.

“[Guardiola] came up to me afterwards and said “hello” and “well done”, so that was nice of him,” said the 19-year-old, who accepts his display will provide no guarantees of a long-term future at the Etihad Stadium.

“Who knows, you don’t know what’s going to happen in football. You just have to enjoy the moment and finish the season strong, then see how it goes next season.

“It’s been great. Playing in games like these and the opportunity to play in the Champions League, it’s an achievement to do that.

“When I came to Celtic, that was the main goal and to play for Celtic has been great.”

Celtic bow out of European competition this season with three points from a tough Group C, having drawn home and away with City and at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Following a humbling 7-0 defeat in their opening match at Barcelona, Roberts believes Brendan Rodgers’ side have acquitted themselves well.

“Obviously we were in a very tough group and it was always going to be hard to get out of it,” he said.

“We’ve shown as a team that we are capable of standing up to everybody and playing our football.”

Leigh Griffiths and Gary Mackay-Steven passed up late chances to claim a consolation win for Celtic in a game where their opponents struggled for fluency throughout and Roberts paid tribute to Rodgers, who he credits for developing him during this fledgling stage of a career that promises much.

“He’s been good,” the former Fulham player added. “He loves young players, he talks to you every day and he just wants the best for me. I’m happy he’s the manager and he’s brought me on a lot since he’s been here.”

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