Raheem Sterling scored a late goal as Manchester City secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Schalke 04 in the first leg of the champions’ league round of sixteen.
The Citizens had found themselves trailing the hosts 2-1 for the better part of the match before Leroy Sane equalized in the 85th minute and in the last minute Sterling had the final say to give City advantage ahead of the return leg.
Want to talk about Leroy Sane? There were 78 minutes gone when he was finally introduced, 85 when he gave Manchester City the parity they deserved. Why he had to wait that long, heaven knows.
City had been trailing 2-1 since shortly before half-time, and went down to ten men in the 68th minute after Nicolas Otamendi was sent off for his second bookable offence, a foul on Guido Burgstaller and a stupidly extreme reaction to the decision, which probably sealed it.
Sane is one of Schalke’s favourite sons. He started here, made his name here as a young sensation in German football; and because he did not leave them for a bigger Bundesliga club, they still love him around these parts.
So when he was introduced, late, with City inexplicably trailing there was none of the animosity traditionally reserved for deserters. Even his equaliser was greeted, not with anger, but mild resignation.
Schalke knew they were a tad fortunate to be leading. Sane had only given City the minimum they merited. And it was some goal, too.
Elsewhere two second half goals from Diego Godin and Jose Maria helped Atletico Madrid beat Juventus two nil.