Manchester City’s starting goalkeeper left with an injury at halftime. His replacement departed after receiving a red card for a foul with 10 minutes left.
And that is when Wednesday’s Champions League game in Milan got very interesting.
With his team — one of the richest and deepest clubs in the world — reduced to 10 men and suddenly out of goalkeepers, Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola was forced to turn to a defender, Kyle Walker, to see out the final 10 minutes of a 1-1 tie with Atalanta.
Atalanta picked up its first Champions League point with the draw, but it failed capitalize on Walker’s unfamiliarity, or its man advantage. Walker saved a low free kick almost as soon as he entered the match, and avoided trouble the rest of the way and City inched closer to a place in the round of 16.
“England’s number one,” City fans sang in delight after the final whistle.
The game had looked far more promising for Manchester City in the opening minutes after Raheem Sterling — who scored a hat trick in Man City’s 5-1 win over Atalanta earlier in the group stage — put the reigning Premier League champions in front in the seventh minute.
But Gabriel Jesus failed to pad the lead when he dragged a penalty wide late in the first half, and then Mario Pasalic tied the score for Atalanta four minutes into the second half.
Pasalic had beaten City’s substitute goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, who had replaced the injured starter, Ederson, at the break. But Bravo departed, too, when he pulled down an attacker outside the penalty area and was sent off.
Atalanta dominated the second period and its winning chances increased when Bravo was sent off for a last-man foul on Josip Ilicic. Out of options, Guardiola turned to Walker, a regular starter at right back, and he pulled on a goalkeeper’s jersey and a pair of gloves and ran on to the field.
JUVENTUS ADVANCES The substitute Douglas Costa scored in second-half stoppage time to give Juventus a 2-1 win at Lokomotiv Moscow that clinched the Italian champions’ place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.
Lokomotiv had tied the score after Juventus took an early lead, and it looked headed for a point at home before a moment of individual brilliance from Costa. The Brazilian picked up the ball on the left flank and cut inside past three defenders. He then played a one-two with Gonzalo Higuaín, dodged two more Lokomotiv players and knocked the ball through the legs of Lokomotiv’s goalkeeper, Guilherme. (AP)
IN OTHER GAMES Robert Lewandowski scored again and Bayern Munich reached the knockout stages with a 2-0 victory over Olympiacos in the club’s first game since Manager Niko Kovac was fired. Ivan Perisic added a late goal for Bayern as its interim coach, Hansi Flick, oversaw a performance with few highlights. Kovac was fired on Sunday, one day after Bayern, the seven-time defending German champion, slumped to its heaviest Bundesliga defeat in more than 10 years with a 5-1 loss at Eintracht Frankfurt. … Host Real Madrid scored three goals in the first 14 minutes and cruised to a 6-0 win over Galatasaray, moving closer to the knockout stages and ending the Turkish team’s chances of advancing. … Paris Saint-Germain moved into the round of 16 with a scrappy 1-0 home win against Club Brugge, and Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham beat Red Star Belgrade, 4-0.