GELSENKIRCHEN: Ten-man Manchester City staged a dramatic comeback with late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling securing them a 3-2 win at Schalke 04 in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg on Wednesday that put the English side in the driving seat.
Substitute Sane scored against his former club with a sensational free kick in the 86th and Sterling grabbed a 90th minute winner after Nabil Bentaleb converted two spot kicks in the 38th and 45th minutes in Schalke’s own comeback.
Sergio Aguero had given City the lead in the 18th and the English champions were left with 10 men in the 68th minute when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off following a second booking.
City, who have conceded at least two goals in six of their seven games in the Champions League knockout stages under Pep Guardiola, will also be without yellow-carded Fernandinho for the return leg in Manchester on March 12.
“We know that we will get our scoring chances and most of the times we use them,” scorer Leroy Sane, a product of Schalke’s youth academies, told reporters.
“I was a bit lucky that the goal goes in from that position. We did not find it easy to settle in the game and we struggled to find spaces.”
Atletico Madrid overpower Juve
Atletico Madrid took a huge advantage in their heavyweight Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus, earning a 2-0 home win thanks to late goals from Uruguayan defenders Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin in a tense, incident-packed game on Wednesday.
Gimenez slid to the floor in a crowded penalty box to bundle the ball into the net from close range in the 78th minute, after former Juve forward Alvaro Morata had had a goal ruled out following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review.
Atletico also had a penalty awarded then taken away by the technology earlier in the game but only grew in determination and captain Godin grabbed a vital second goal in the 83rd minute to take into the return leg in Turin.
The veteran defender appeared at the near post to knock a loose ball into the net after Atletico wreaked havoc again from a set-piece, the shot deflecting off familiar foe Cristiano Ronaldo on its way in.
“It’s a magnificent result, we scored twice and they did not but we still have the second leg and we know the 90 minutes in Turin will be just as difficult as they were tonight,” Godin said.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable and luckily we were able to overcome adversity after the decisions of the referee and VAR.”