Joe Hart was hailed by supporters as Manchester City went through the motions to claim their place in the Champions League group stage at Steaua Bucharest's expense.

Fabian Delph scored the only goal of a drab game as City claimed a 1-0 win in their play-off at the Etihad Stadium to progress 6-0 on aggregate.

At times the occasion seemed more about England goalkeeper Hart, who was recalled by manager Pep Guardiola after sitting on the bench for the first three games of season.

Tweet of the Match

"Etihad reverberates to "Stand up if you love Joe Hart". He shakes his head and touches the badge as #mcfc fans stand in salute," Times journalist Henry Winter (@henry winter).

Star Man

John Stones

Few players stood out in a largely uninspiring game, but this was Stones' fourth consecutive faultless appearance since joining City earlier this month.

The elegant centre-back is clearly a big part of Guardiola's thinking and he looks the part. At one point he was given instructions on the touchline by the manager and there are still improvements to make, but it has been a very good start for the former Everton man.

In with the crowd

Amid all the speculation about his future, Hart was given a tremendous reception by the City fans. They chanted, "Don't sell Joe Hart" and unfurled a banner as he came out for the second half which read, "A good Hart these days is hard to find". They ran through a full medley of Hart-themed songs in the second half, including one of, "Stand up if you love Joe Hart," which earned the keeper a standing ovation.

Moment of the match

As a spectacle this was a dull match. Delph's goal was one of the few bright moments. Navas clipped in a fine cross from Iheanacho's lay-off and Delph rose powerfully to head home.


Manchester City

Joe Hart 7

Pablo Maffeo 6

John Stones 7

Aleksandar Kolarov 7

Gael Clichy 6

Fabian Delph 7

Fernando 6

Jesus Navas 7

Yaya Toure 6

Nolito 6

Kelechi Iheanacho 6


Angelino (for Nolito) 6

Tosin Adarabioyo (for Stones) 6

Fernandinho (for Iheanacho) 6

Steaua Bucharest

Valentin Cojocaru 6

Adnan Aganovic 5

Gabriel Tamas 6

Bogdan Mitrea 6

Marko Momcilovic 5

Alexandru Bourceanu 5

Ovidiu Popescu 5

Muniru Sulley 5

Gabriel Enache 5

Jugurtha Hamroun 5

Alexandru Tudorie 5


Nicolae Stanciu (for Aganovic) 5

Adrian Popa (for Popescu) 5

Vlad Achim (for Sulley) 5

Who's up next?

Manchester City v West Ham (Premier League, August 28)

Pandurii Targu Jiu v Steaua Bucharest (Liga 1, August 27)