Man City toiled their way to a decent second-leg advantage after beating Schalke in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday night.
On a roll heading out to Gelsenkirchen, it looked like City would simply steamroll their opponents, who sit hovering nervously above the Bundesliga relegation zone, but Pep Guardiola’s side hardly had it all their own way.
Sergio Aguero put the visitors ahead inside 20 minutes but a couple of penalties dispatched by ex-Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb saw Schalke go in 2-1 up at half-time.
Bentaleb is Schalke’s top goalscorer so far this season with six goals, and every single one of them has come from the spot. In fact, the 24-year-old Algerian international hasn’t missed a single one of the 13 penalties he’s taken since joining the German club in 2016/17.
Anyway, City eventually tussled back into the running, with a flurry of late goals sealing the come-from-behind victory.
The equaliser came in the 85th minute when Schalke old boy Leroy Sane tucked away a magnificent free-kick that looks even better with every new replay angle…
Then, cometh the 90th minute, cometh the man – as Raheem Sterling muscled his man, plucked a glorious hail mary pass from Ederson out of the sky and rolled an impudent finish underneath Ralf Fahrmann to pinch it at the death…
Not bad for a forward who supposedly can’t finish. Not bad at all.
Hell of an assist, too!
🔍| Ederson finished the match against Schalke with 1 assist and 0 saves. He also got a yellow card for argument.
— SofaScore🌐 (@SofaScoreINT) 20 February 2019
Going into the game, City had lost five of their previous eight Champions League knockout ties away from home.
Now, with things clicking and momentum building, it’s possible they’re finally beginning to look like serious contenders.