Man City win 3-2 after two late goals
FC Schalke 04 narrowly missed out on a home victory on Wednesday evening (20/2) in the last 16 of the Champions League. The English champions went ahead early, before two Bentaleb penalties put S04 in front at half time. Two late goals then sealed the win for the Sky Blues.
Mascarell banned, Caligiuri back
Daniel Caligiuri, who was suspended for the league game against Freiburg, returned to the starting eleven, replacing Omar Mascarell in the team, who was himself suspended. There were three further changes to the side: Jeffrey Bruma, Nabil Bentaleb und Hamza Mendyl came in for Amine Harit, Ahmed Kutucu and Rabbi Matondo – forming a much more defensive side.
Bentaleb scores two penalties
Manchester City started the brighter of the two sides and continuously put Schalke’s defenders under pressure. Sergio Agüero tested Ralf Fährmann after seven minutes with a head, but Schalke’s captain managed to tip it over the bar. Kevin de Bruyne and Agüero then had further chances, before finally they took the lead after 18 minutes. David Silva stole a pass from Ralf Fährmann intended for Salif Sané and played in Agüero, who tapped into an empty net for 1-0. There was hope that the goal wouldn’t stand as Mark Uth had been tackled by Aymeric Laporte and Schalke appealed for a foul. This wasn’t given and the Cityzens had an early lead.
The frustration after the opening goal seemed to give the boys in Royal Blue a push. In the 25th minute, Mark Uth had the first shot on goal for the hosts, but his effort from 20 yards zipped just wide of the far post with Ederson well-beaten. In the 38th minute, the City ‘keeper was picking the ball out of the back of the net after being sent the wrong way by Nabil Bentaleb from the penalty spot. The spot-kick was awarded for a handball by Nicolas Otamendi following a Daniel Caligiuri effort, for which the City defender was shown a yellow card. Due to technical problems on the touchline, it took four minutes for the referee to award the penalty.
In the last minute of first-half regulation time, Nabil Bentaleb was called upon for a second time from the spot. Despite Ederson guessing the right way on this occasion, the power behind Bentaleb’s penalty took the ball into the back of the net to give Schalke the lead. This decision was made without delay by the referee, who was left with little option other than to point to the spot after Fernandinho clearly held Salif Sané. This also resulted in a yellow card, which means Fernandinho is suspended for the return leg in Manchester. In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Bernardo Silva had the chance to level things up, but sent his shot over the bar.
City go down to ten men
It took Manchester City 66 seconds to register their first shot of the second half, Kevin De Bruyne’s effort going just wide of the right-hand post. City attacked again in the following minutes, with both Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling involved. Schalke stood strong against the English champions.
In the 68th minute, Manchester City went a man down when Nicolas Otamendi was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Guido Burgstaller. Despite the red card, City started pushing for an equaliser, with Kevin De Bruyne again going close in the 74th minute.
City then equalised late on with a free-kick. The goalscorer was Leroy Sané. The former Schalke player scored from around 25 yards out, his free-kick leaving Ralf Fährmann with no chance in goal. Things then got even worse for Schalke. Raheem Sterling latched onto a long ball from Ederson and put his side 3-2 up in the 90th minute of the game. The fifth goal of the night proved to be the winner in the VELTINS-Arena.
Schalke play in Mainz on Saturday
The second leg against Manchester City is on 12th March (21:00 CET). However, Schalke have other things to focus on before that. The Royal Blues now turn their attention towards Mainz this Saturday in the OPEL Arena (23rd February, 15:30 CET).