Kyle Walker was called on as an emergency goalkeeper after Claudio Bravo was sent off in a chaotic 1-1 draw with Atalanta in Group C.
Manchester City finished with Kyle Walker in goal as their progression to the Champions League knockout stages was stalled by Atalanta in a dramatic 1-1 draw.
Raheem Sterling’s seventh-minute goal looked set to be paving the way for another dominant display from the Premier League champions, who thrashed Atalanta 5-1 in the reverse fixture and wanted a win to guarantee their place in the last 16.
However, Gabriel Jesus’ dreadful penalty miss and the half-time substitution of goalkeeper Ederson – who reportedly had a minor injury – handed Atalanta hope, with Mario Pasalic then heading in their equaliser.
BT Sport reported Ederson suffered a minor injury and was removed as a precaution with an eye on the trip to Anfield. Omnisport was awaiting clarification from Manchester City regarding the 26-year-old’s condition.
Bravo conceded the equaliser only four minutes after the restart and was then sent off with nine to play after rushing out of the area to make a challenge on Josep Ilicic.
Right-back Kyle Walker was forced to into goals as a makeshift keeper for the remainder of the match, making one save from the free kick resulting after Bravo’s red card.
Despite failing to win the match, City remain top of their Champions League group with 10 points, five ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb, who played out a 3-3 draw in a simultaneous game.
A point to Pep Guardiola’s team in their next European encounter at home against Shakhtar on November 26 will seal their progression to the knockout stage,
City are already without defenders Aymeric Laporte and Oleksandr Zinchenko (both knee), midfielders Rodri (hamstring) and David Silva (muscular) and winger Leroy Sane (knee).
Hans Hateboer missed a great early chance for Atalanta, but it was City who took the lead when Sterling swept home at the culmination of a slick move.
City looked to have been gifted the chance to double their lead when referee Aleksey Kulbakov awarded a penalty for Rafael Toloi’s foul on Sterling, only for VAR to rightly overturn the decision as initial contact came outside the box.
Chaos commenced from the resulting free-kick – Sterling’s strike hit Josip Ilicic on the arm, with Kulbakov giving the penalty after checking with VAR.
Jesus’ spot-kick let Atalanta off the hook, though, with the Brazil forward sending a dreadful attempt well wide of the left post.
Atalanta were level four minutes into the second half, as Bravo’s first act was to collect the ball out of his own net after Pasalic powered in Alejandro Gomez’s sensational cross.
Bravo’s chaotic cameo was brought to an end in the 81st minute, with VAR backing up the referee’s decision to send the goalkeeper off for a lunge on Ilicic after charging out of the penalty area.
Walker had to step up, but despite a nervy start when he fumbled Ruslan Malinovskiy’s free-kick, the right-back was not severely tested as Atalanta failed to capitalise on City’s misfortune.