And breathe… Well, what a night in the Champions League! Did you see that one coming?! We certainly didn’t! Manchester City leave the Veltins Arena after coming from behind to score two goals in six minutes late on and go into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium with a massive advantage over Schalke.
Sergio Aguero gave City the lead after David Silva stole the ball and gifted the Argentine the opener. The blues then gave away two penalties within the space of five minutes, gifting former Spurs midfielder Nabil Bentaleb a brace, on the stroke of half time. Leroy Sane, returning to his boyhood club for the first time, scored an unstoppable free kick to level the score. With time running out it looked like City were content with the draw. Ederson then knocked a long ball downfield to Raheem Sterling, who showed excellent composure in front of goal to give City an unlikely victory with time running out.
Here’s how we assessed the performances of all those involved tonight in Gelsenkirchen:
Ederson – 8/10
Unfortunate to face two penalties within quick succession. Didn’t have to make another save throughout the game but showed his class with a beautiful long ball to set up Sterling for the winner.
Kyle Walker – 6/10
A fairly quiet evening for the full back. Kept possession well but didn’t threaten going forward.
Nicolas Otamendi – 4/10
A tough one to mark. He started well and could feel hard done by for the penalty, but a rash challenge in the second half when on a booking wasn’t his brightest move.
Fernandinho – 6/10
Another decent display in an unnatural role for the Brazilian. Lost his man and paid for it when gifting Schalke a second penalty. Much preferred when in the centre of the park.
Aymeric Laporte – 6/10
Not too much to be done defensively and won the header which lead to the opener. Held the ball well but struggled to link with Sterling for large parts of the game.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6.5/10
Not his finest performance in a City shirt but not a terrible one. Protected the back four when needed to and tried to link up with Silva and De Bruyne to limited success.
David Silva – 7/10
Quick, sharp play feeding Aguero for the opener, similar to his goal against Hoffenheim in the group stage. Played some quality, intricate football but couldn’t get a final ball through.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6/10
Hasn’t quite hit his maximum levels since returning from injury and this game was another frustrating night for the midfielder. A few chances from the edge of the area but couldn’t get a proper foothold in the game.
Bernardo Silva – 7.5/10
Some sublime pieces of skill and footwork totally bamboozling the Schalke players. Unfortunately, quiet for large parts and not as influential on the right as he is centrally.
Sergio Aguero – 6/10
Grabbed a goal early on and looked bright. A tired second half was highlighted by some poor decisions and a snatched shot wide summing up his evening.
Raheem Sterling – 8/10 (MOTM)
Coolness personified when scoring the winner. Forever offering on the left and created a handful of chances in the first half. Often being doubled up on by the Schalke defence, nullifying his game but showed great initiative to grab the winner. Tough to pick a Man of the Match but the Englishman edges it for me.
Vincent Kompany – 6/10
Not too much to say on his performance but good to see him back fit. Slotted straight back in when needed to and hopefully come away from the game fully healthy.
Leroy Sane – 8/10
A stupendous free kick similar to his Hoffenheim goal earlier in the competition. Almost in for a second but stopped by a great challenge from Schalke’s Sane. Wouldn’t be too surprised if we saw him start at Wembley on Sunday.
Oleksandr Zinchenko –
Too late to mark.
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