Joe Hart Makes First And Possibly Last Start For Manchester City

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Manchester City keeper, Joe Hart marked his first start of the season, and possibly his last for Manchester City, with a clean sheet as Pep Guardiola’s side advanced to the Champions League group stage.

Hart, who is expected to leave with Claudio Bravo close to signing, was rarely troubled after being made captain against Steaua Bucharest.

Leading 5-0 from the first leg, City rested several key players.

Fabian Delph’s header from Jesus Navas’ cross made it 6-0 on aggregate.

Hart was dropped for City’s first three games as Guardiola opted for Willy Caballero instead.

However, the City boss had hinted at his pre-match news conference that Hart would start this one – and he gave the 29-year-old the added responsibility of leading the team out.

Hart’s every touch was applauded by home supporters while there were many banners on display in support of the England keeper.

In the 66th minute of his 348th start for the club, while a Steaua Bucharest player was receiving treatment, the Etihad reverberated to chants of “Stand up if you love Joe Hart”. He responded by shaking his head and touching the club badge on his shirt.

Hart had little to do as the visitors sat back. He produced a couple of examples of short, sharp distribution with his feet – contrary to the perceived weakness that may have counted against him under Guardiola – while making two saves to keep out substitute Nicolae Stanciu’s free-kick and then blocking Alexandru Tudorie’s effort.

He also celebrated Delph’s goal by raising both arms and punching the air.

At the final whistle, Hart applauded all four sides of the Etihad along with his team-mates.


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