Manchester City came out on top in an epic Champions League battle against Monaco as late goals by John Stones and Leroy Sane secured a 5-3 victory in a last 16 first-leg thriller on Tuesday that had goals galore and a missed penalty.
City took the lead through Raheem Sterling but were then playing catch-up as Monaco drew level thanks to Radamel Falcao’s header and then went ahead with a powerful finish from 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe five minutes before halftime.
South American poachers Sergio Aguero for City and Falcao, who also missed a penalty, then traded blows with Aguero equalising for 2-2 and then 3-3 after Falcao’s exquisite chip gave Monaco the lead for the second time at The Etihad.
City, however, then pulled clear as Stones tapped in at the far post and Sane rolled the ball into an empty net to give City a two-goal advantage ahead of the return on March 15.
In the other match, Atletico Madrid beat hosts Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 in a topsy-turvy encounter on Tuesday to take a firm handle on their Champions League round-of-16 tie ahead of the return leg in Spain next month.
Two lethal counter-attacks in the opening 25 minutes put the 2014 and 2016 finalists in the driving seat, with Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann on target, and give them the edge for a quarter-final spot for the ninth time.
Leverkusen, who struggled to contain the hard-charging Spaniards for more than an hour, cut the deficit before Atletico’s Kevin Gameiro scored with a spot kick and Stefan Savic’s own goal set up a nervous finale.
Fernando Torres ended any speculation with his goal in the 87th minute as the Germans suffered their first home loss in Europe after a 10-match unbeaten run.
They are at risk of missing out on the last eight for the fifth time with Atletico taking revenge for a 1-0 loss at the same stage last season.
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