David Silva and Man City attack show their resilience in comeback win at Schalke
GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany -- Manchester City snatched a 3-2 victory in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg at Schalke thanks to late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling. City were ahead through Sergio Aguero, but the Bundesliga side led at half-time after Nabil Bentelab scored two penalties -- the first given by VAR after a three-minute wait. Nicolas Otamendi was then shown a second yellow card, but City showed their resilience to grab a win with two goals in the final five minutes.
Down to 10 men and staring down the barrel of an embarrassing defeat, City showed their fighting spirit and found a way to leave Germany with a victory. The second leg was looking like a real pressure occasion in a competition they are desperate to succeed in, but those late goals make them overwhelming favourites to progress, even if they will be without the suspended Fernandinho and Otamendi for the second leg.
It was a Champions League tie that even Schalke fans didn't give themselves much of a chance in. But they were gifted two goals, which gave them something to cling to. Conceding too many goals has underpinned City's failures in Europe, and the knockout stages are off to a poor start defensively.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Pep Guardiola got his selection right as City dominated the opening 35 minutes and they would have been in total control but for the two defining moments in their own penalty box. It would have been easy for City to lose their cool but Guardiola, who can often be volatile after controversial refereeing decisions, got his team back playing as they took charge again in the second half. And he kept them moving forward even after Otamendi's red card.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Ederson, 6 -- Beaten by two penalties that were well dispatched by Bentelab. Picked up a stupid yellow card late on.
DF Fernandinho, 5 -- Got caught on the wrong side of Sane to give away a silly penalty when he looked comfortable in the centre of defence.
DF Nicolas Otamendi, 4 -- Didn't get his arm out of the way in time for the controversial first penalty. Yellow card for it was extremely harsh but his second booking was daft.
MF Ilkay Gundogan, 6 -- Back in his hometown, he was good at keeping City moving forward but got overrun by Bentelab on a couple of occasions.
MF Kevin De Bruyne, 6 -- Gave City plenty of drive in midfield but gave the ball away sloppily on occasions.
MF David Silva, 8 -- Only has a Champions League medal missing from his collection and showed his desire to win it by pouncing on a loose pass to set up the opener.
FW Bernardo Silva, 7 -- Plenty of energy and skill showed just why Guardiola loves him so much.
FW Sergio Aguero, 7 -- Made it an incredible seven away goals in succession and was a constant threat to the Schalke defence.
FW Raheem Sterling, 7 -- Had the beating of Daniel Caliguri in the first half but faded in the second until his late winner.
DF Vincent Kompany, 6 -- First appearance in two months and shored up the defence.
FW Leroy Sane, N/R -- Fantastic free kick to pull City level.
DF Oleksandr Zinchenko, N/R -- Came on to see the game out after Sane's equaliser.