Manchester City staged a dramatic comeback with late goals from Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling to secure for them a 3-2 win at Schalke 04 on Wednesday.
The win was in an UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match, and it has put the English side who finished the game with 10 men in the driving seat.
Substitute Sane scored against his former club with a sensational free kick in the 86th minute of the first leg tie.
Sterling grabbed a 90th minute winner after Nabil Bentaleb converted two spot kicks in the 38th and 45th minutes in Schalke 04’s own comeback.
Sergio Aguero had given Manchester City the lead in the 18th minute.
The English champions were then left with 10 men in the 68th minute when Nicolas Otamendi was sent off following a second booking.
Manchester City have now conceded at least two goals in six of their seven games in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages under Pep Guardiola.
They will also be without yellow-carded Fernandinho for the return leg in Manchester on March 12.
“We know that we will get our goalscoring chances and most of the times we use them,,” goalscorer Leroy Sane, a product of Schalke 04’s youth academies, told reporters.
“I was a bit lucky that the ball went in from that position. We did not find it easy to settle in the game and we struggled to find spaces.”
Argentine Aguero, who netted two hat-tricks in his previous three English Premier League (EPL) games, scored with a simple tap-in after a pass from goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann was intercepted.
Manchester City completely overran the Germans at the start but instead of scoring again, they inexplicably fell back, allowing Schalke 04 to come forward.
The hosts were rewarded when a handball earned Otamendi a booking and the hosts a spot kick that Algeria international Bentaleb converted after the use of the video assistant referee (VAR).
The Royal Blues then went ahead seven minutes later after earning another penalty kick when Fernandinho clumsily brought down Schalke 04’s Salif Sane.
Bentaleb again stepped up and scored his second goal of the evening in spite of goalkeeper Ederson getting his hands on the ball.
With coach Guardiola growing increasingly frustrated, the visitors tried for an early goal after the break but this time came up against an organised Schalke 04 backline.
To make matters worse for Manchester City, Otamendi was sent off with a second booking in the 68th minute.
This took any pace left out of Manchester City’s game, before Leroy Sane’s missile saved the day for the English side.
Sterling then slipped into the box late in the game to grab victory with a dramatic winner.
“It is extremely bitter and it hurts,” said Schalke 04 midfielder Daniel Caligiuri.
“With an extra player we should have controlled the ball and made it 3-1. We should have solved this situation better.”(Reuters/NAN)