Manchester City 2 Hoffenheim 1: City through as group winner after Sane brace

Despite falling behind in the first half, Manchester City claimed a 2-1 victory against Hoffenheim courtesy of two goals from Leroy Sane.

Manchester City's German midfielder Leroy Sane (R) celebrates after scoring their second goal during the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Manchester City and Hoffenheim.   -  afp

Leroy Sane bagged a brace as Manchester City beat Hoffenheim 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium to ensure it made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League as Group F winner. 

City, which had already qualified, needed just a point to be certain of top spot but it fell behind to Andrej Kramaric's 16th-minute penalty.

As it happened

The host then twice hit the woodwork before Sane's long-range free-kick just before half-time drew it level. 

And he found the net again 16 minutes after the break as Pep Guardiola's side bounced back from its Premier League loss away at Chelsea on Saturday, while Hoffenheim finished bottom of the table to miss out on the Europa League.

 

As it had done in three of its previous five group games in this season’s competition, City fell behind. 

Aymeric Laporte was punished for clumsily pushing over Benjamin Hubner as he prepared to shoot when Nico Schulz's scuffed effort dropped into his path, and Kramaric - who had earlier been denied by a brilliant Ederson save - stroked the spot-kick down the middle. 

Gabriel Jesus headed against a post from five yards out following a corner before Ilkay Gundogan's free-kick was diverted onto the crossbar by Joelinton's header as City pushed for a response. 

An equaliser finally arrived from another dead-ball situation as Sane's attempt from a direct free-kick flew into the net from 30 yards out.

A scrappy second-half

City continued to threaten from set-pieces after the resumption and Laporte should have atoned for giving away the earlier penalty but goalkeeper Oliver Baumann denied both his initial header and then also a follow-up attempt from point-blank range. 

Guardiola's men were guilty of an even worse miss when Hoffenheim left no one back and Raheem Sterling, Sane and Bernardo Silva led a three-man breakaway but failed to apply the finishing touch, Baumann denying the latter. 

Yet they did find the net via a counter-attacking move just after the hour mark, Sane collecting a return pass from Sterling to poke home a left-footed finish, despite appearing to take one touch too many as Baumann closed him down. 

Sterling should have added a third late on but missed the target when found by Phil Foden's cross. 

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