Manchester City 2-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Sane's brace sends City top of group
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Manchester City 2-1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim: Sane's brace sends City top of group

Leroy Sane's brace gave Manchester City a 2-1 victory Wednesday night at the Etihad

josef-leizerowitz
Josef Leizerowitz

Manchester City secured the top spot in their Champions League group on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Leroy Sane's brace canceled out an early Andrej Kramaric goal from the penalty spot and give City the three points on match-day six at a chilly Etihad Stadium.

Early returns

The visitors from Germany showed no holding back and attacked the Manchester City backline early in the first half. Former Leicester City striker Kramaric had a beautiful curler saved by a diving Ederson in the 14th minute, but the Croatian striker would get his goal just moments later.

City's Aymeric Laporte got tangled in the box and took down Hoffenheim's Benjamin Hubner to give the visitors an early chance from the penalty spot. Kramaric made no mistake from the spot and allowed Hoffenheim to go up a goal at the Etihad just 16 minutes into the first half.


Oh Leroy Sane...

Sane levelled the match on the stroke of halftime from a free kick. The German international placed a beautiful free kick, from the centre of the pitch, past a diving Oliver Baumann who had no chance at a save.

The City attacking forwards were gifted the perfect opportunity to go up a goal early in the second half, only to squander the easiest of chances. Raheem Sterling, Sane and Bernardo Silva were sprung loose past the defence and all alone against the Hoffenheim goalkeeper, but two indecisive passes led to a Silva shot being saved by Baumann.

Sane would make amends for his earlier miss by giving the hosts a 2-1 lead in the 61st minute. Gabriel Jesus dragged a defender across on the counter-attack, allowing Sterling to find a streaking Sane down the left flank who slotted the ball past the Hoffenheim goalkeeper. 


Rotation Station

With a place in the knockout stages already confirmed and a long list of injuries, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was forced once again to plug and rotate the squad. Guardiola had said earlier in the week that he truly only had 15 fit players in his squad coming into the matchup with Hoffenheim.  

Sergio Aguero's continued absence from the squad allowed Gabriel Jesus to regain his spot in the City starting eleven, while Phil Foden was given a rare starting opportunity by the Catalan manager. 


First things first

Manchester City's victory on Wednesday night guaranteed the club first place in their Champions League group. 

The placement allows the Citizens to host the second leg of their knockout round matchup, as well as being placed in the pot with the other first-place squads when the knockout phase draw occurs.

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