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Manchester City Goalkeeper Hails ‘Special Night’ After Reaching Champions League Group Stage

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Joe Hart says helping Manchester City reach the group stage of the Champions League on possibly his last appearance for the club was “a special night”.

Hart, expected to leave with Claudio Bravo close to signing, was applauded by home supporters throughout the 1-0 second leg win over Steaua Bucharest.

“We’ve a top manager and he’s going to have his opinion on things,” added Hart, after City’s 6-0 aggregate win.

City boss Pep Guardiola said: “I know Joe is a legend for this club.”

Hart, 29, was dropped by Guardiola for the first three games of the season but was handed the captain’s armband before marking his first start of the season with a clean sheet.

At one point in the second half, 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.

“That was a really special night for me,” said Hart, who joined City in 2006 and has won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup.

Joe Hart

“We all know there is a situation going on but I feel that inside, outside of all the circus, we are handling it well as a good team with a good management staff.

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“Tonight was really nice. I really appreciate the people at Manchester City and it turns out they appreciate me.”

“This is a special place for me, I’ve made no secret of that. Situations occur in football. We are men and we get on with it.”

Asked if he might be leaving, Hart added: “That’s not for me to say.”

Guardiola is expected to complete the signing of Barcelona keeper Bravo in the next few days.

Bravo flew into Manchester on Tuesday for a medical.

“I’m here to take decisions,” said Guardiola. “I can’t deny what I feel. I was honest with Joe, the club and myself.

“I can completely understand if the fans are not happy. Joe did a lot with this club in the years he’s been here, more than I have done.

“I know part of what the club has become, one of the reasons is Joe. They won the Premier League, the cup. He helped to make this team one step above.

“I am so happy how the people treat him and love him.”


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