Oh what a night. Not for the first time in their recent history, Manchester City took home a memorable result from Germany in a heated clash with Schalke this evening.
Sergio Aguero opened the scoring and the Blues looked in control, but two penalties scored by Nabil Bentaleb – one of them very contentious despite VAR – then a red card for Nicolas Otamendi put City’s Champions League campaign in doubt.
Then late goals from the returning Leroy Sané – an absolute golazo of a free kick – and Raheem Sterling ensured City pulled off a huge comeback win, with three away goals to take back to the Etihad! Let’s be honest, City were not at their best today, but still pulled off a huge win, showing just how talented this side is.
Here’s how we rated the players tonight.
Ederson – 6.5
Two shots on target for Schalke, both penalties, both goals. Ederson could do little about either well-taken spot kick, but did get his hand to Bentaleb’s second. And then right at the death, his long kick set up Raheem Sterling for City’s winner, so we’ll throw an extra .5 on his rating for that assist!
Kyle Walker – 6
Playing in a three-man defence today, Walker was generally solid but unspectacular. Lacks a little going forward at times.
Nicolas Otamendi – 5
A night to forget for the Argentine but the VAR-assisted handball decision against him was very harsh. His second yellow was just reckless however, and the Otamendi of old we don’t like to see too much. He had been fairly solid at the back otherwise, but a needless second yellow card brings down his rating.
Aymeric Laporte – 6.5
It seems that Laporte can play in any defensive role and put in a good shift. Continued his fine form with a good performance and was probably the pick of City’s defenders this evening in Gelsenkirchen.
Fernandinho – 6
Gave away the second penalty which was more of one than Otamendi’s but still up for argument. Other than that, a fair performance but the Brazilian wasn’t at his tenacious best.
Ilkay Gundogan – 6
Solid in possession today without taking too many risks and there were none of his cute chips into the box that have been so useful lately for City.
Bernardo Silva – 6.5
Bernardo has put in some incredible performances lately – this wasn’t incredible but nor was it bad. Wasted a good chance when was on the edge of the box, but fired over. Some nice moments, but nothing to write home about.
Kevin De Bruyne – 6
Sloppy at times and below his best, but still made more key passes than anyone else on the pitch. Even an average performance by KDB isn’t without its highlights.
David Silva – 6.5
His high pressing meant Aguero had a tap-in for City’s early opener and was yet another assist for El Mago in his glittering career. Other than that, he drifted in and out of the game before being replaced following Otamendi’s red card.
Raheem Sterling – 6.5
Raz worked very hard tonight and was occasionally dangerous down the left, but honestly, he was in Caligiuri’s pocket for much of the game and dispossessed an incredible eight times. Not one of his finest performances in sky blue… and yet he went and scored the memorable winner, which shows how he can make an impact even while not playing particularly well.
Sergio Aguero – 6.5
Schalke could not handle his movement early on and he scored one of the easiest goals he’ll ever bag thanks to the hard work of David Silva. Less clinical with his other efforts and he was surprisingly subbed off for Sané – a move many questioned, but which led to City scoring two late goals!
Vincent Kompany – 6
It’s quite possible the returning skipper wouldn’t have been used tonight but for Otamendi’s unexpected red card. That forced Vinnie on to the pitch for a decent 20 minutes.
Leroy Sané – 7
He was only on the pitch for about 15 minutes, but what an impact Leroy made on his return to Gelsenkirchen! He saw his moment when City won a free kick from distance and scored an absolute beauty from range, which could prove to be one of City’s most important goals this season.
Oleksandr Zinchenko – N/A
Replaced his would-be brother KDB very late in the day.