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Sterling grants dramatic City win over Schalke

BY: Isaac Yeboah
Sterling scored his 16th goal of the season for City
Sterling scored his 16th goal of the season for City

Manchester City are "still not ready to fight for the latter stages" of the Champions League, said manager Pep Guardiola after his side staged a brilliant late comeback to beat Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

England forward Raheem Sterling scored the decisive goal in the last minute of normal time - latching on to goalkeeper Ederson's long kick and coolly slotting home.

The Premier League champions had come into the match as strong favourites and went in front on 18 minutes through Sergio Aguero.

But the game swung in Schalke's favour before half-time after a contentious VAR decision and two Nabil Bentaleb penalties.

The first of Schalke's spot-kicks came after the intervention of the VAR, who penalised City defender Nicolas Otamendi for handball when the ball struck his arm as he moved it behind his back.

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The second was given for a foul by Fernandinho on Salif Sane - the referee sticking with his decision after briefly consulting the VAR.

After being booked for the handball, Otamendi was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Guido Burgstaller in the second half - meaning he will sit out the second leg, as will Fernandinho.

With City heading for a surprise defeat, manager Pep Guardiola sent on former Schalke player Leroy Sane - and the Germany international curled home a free-kick from 30 yards out to level, before Sterling struck.

"It was a great result," said Guardiola. "We gave them two penalties, we gave them a red card, and in this competition that is not too good.

"We are still not ready to fight for the latter stages, that is reality, but the result is good.

"We played with incredible personality. We gave two goals when they did absolutely nothing. It is not over, this competition is completely different."

The second leg takes place in Manchester on Tuesday, 12 March.

Credit: The BBC