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.
City manager Pep Guardiola had called Monaco “killers” in the box before the game and while they showed just why they are European football’s most deadly assassins, they were embarrassingly fragile at times at the back.
They were behind after 26 minutes when Sterling tapped home after Sane dazzled down the left and teed up the England winger.
Atletico Madrid scored four away goals to take charge of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen.
Saul Niguez gave the visitors the lead with a stunning strike, picking the ball up on the right before cutting inside and curling a left-footed shot into the top corner.
Antoine Griezmann doubled their advantage from Kevin Gameiro’s pass after woeful defending by Leverkusen skipper Omer Toprak.
Wendell struck his own crossbar in clearing Felipe Luis’ cross and home goalkeeper Bernd Leno twice saved well from Griezmann as Leverkusen were fortunate to go in at the break just two goals behind.
Karim Bellarabi pulled one back for Leverkusen early in the second half by finishing off a slick team move, but Gameiro’s penalty restored Atletico’s two-goal advantage before Stefan Savic’s own goal reduced arrears once again.
Substitute Fernando Torres further strengthened Atletico’s grip on the tie when he nodded in a late fourth.