Aug 26, 2016

    Fans hail Hart in 'last game' as City reach group phase


    JOE Hart played potentially his last Manchester City game as Pep Guardiola's team rubber-stamped their place in the Champions League group phase by beating Steaua Bucharest 1-0 on Wednesday.

    Leading 5-0 from last week's away leg, City completed a 6-0 aggregate victory courtesy of Fabian Delph's second-half header, putting them in yesterday's group-stage draw in Monaco with room to spare.

    But the spotlight at a less than full Etihad Stadium fell squarely on goalkeeper Hart, whose name was chanted by the home fans throughout the game after he was frozen out by new manager Guardiola.

    "That was a really special night for me," Hart, City's captain for the night, told BT Sport.

    "We all know there is a situation going on. This is a special place for me, I've made no secret of that. But situations occur in football. We are men and we get on with it."

    With Claudio Bravo poised to complete a £17 million (S$30.4 million) move from Barcelona, this could have been Hart's 348th and final City appearance.

    A veteran of City's two Premier League title wins, two League Cup successes and 2011 FA Cup triumph, the England goalkeeper, 29, applauded all four corners of the ground before going off at the end.

    "Joe is still a player of us.

    "I'm so happy with him today," Guardiola said.

    "I know he's a legend for this club. Joe is one of the reasons the club has become (what it is)."

    Hart has been linked with a move to Everton or Sevilla.