Mens Team

Sublime Sane and Phil of the Future

Sublime Sane and Phil of the Future
Analysing the key observations from City's 2-1 win over Hoffenheim...

1 Top work

The task was clear: earn a point to secure top spot in Group F.

The execution proved a little trickier, particularly when the visitors took the lead from the penalty spot when Aymeric Laporte upended Benjamin Hübner and Andrej Kramarić stepped up to convert.

Hoffenheim needed a win to stand any chance of qualifying for the Europa League so their 16th-minute opener provided the ideal start for the Germans.

READ: Pep Guardiola | 'Foden is a diamond'

WATCH: Match highlights | City 2-1 Hoffenheim

GALLERY: Best of the action | Tip-top from Sane

It wasn’t an occasion for the panic stations but City rallied and turned the game on its head through two fine Leroy Sane strikes. (More on those shortly!)

The reaction from Saturday’s disappointing defeat to Chelsea had demanded a response – and the Blues produced one. Having secured a return to winning ways, the next mission is to maintain it.

Next up… Everton.

2 Sane-shiiiiine

Another sublime display from Sane – the German winger is in excellent form.

In his last ten games for Club and country, the 22-year-old has bagged eight goals and four assists.

Levelling the score with a wonderful free-kick, he became the first German player to score against German opposition in the Champions League since Mesut Özil vs Bayern Munich in October 2015 – and what a way to do it!

While set-pieces have proven fruitful for us in recent months, it’s been a while since a free-kick was executed with such exquisite precision and power.

Surprisingly, Sane told CityTV afterwards it was the first of his career. We expect him to step up for them all from now on!

His second portrayed superb composure and capped a fine individual display.

3 Chances galore

In terms of the odds at stake, our group finale was not expected to provide as much drama as the other fixture, as Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk battled it out for progression – but there was plenty of entertainment on offer.

With chance after chance, you couldn’t take your eyes off events at the Etihad – spare a thought for those providing your matchday commentary! – and in truth, the scoreline could (and probably should) have been far more flattering for the boys in Blue.

Threatening from the off (with set-pieces proving the most dangerous, particularly in the opening 45), City fashioned 25 opportunities in total, with ten of those on target – and we hit the woodwork three times!

Also finding joy on the counter-attack in the second period with the lightning pace of Sane and Raheem Sterling, the hosts were not at our devastating best – instead opting to play the pass rather than take the shot on.

Thankfully, the spurned chances didn’t affect the result – but Pep Guardiola will be eyeing better decisions in the final third from Saturday onwards.

4 Golden Foden

It’s been some week for Phil Foden.

Fresh from signing a new long-term deal with his boyhood Club, the midfielder was handed a starting berth and was unlucky not to mark a memorable few days with a goal – and what would have been a stunning one at that!

Tipped to become a City and England great, the youngster has earned plenty of attention over the past year or so and he certainly didn’t look out of place in Wednesday’s line-up.

With fellow starlet Felix Nmecha also named on the bench, alongside Aro Muric and Brahim Diaz, here was plenty of youthful exuberance at Guardiola’s disposal.

5 Who's next?

Mark the date in your diaries… book the morning off work if you have to!

The Champions League last 16 draw takes place on Monday morning in Nyon, Switzerland.

Unusually, due to the fact all four English teams progressed, along with the ruling that we can’t play our Group F opponents, City have only four potential opponents: Atletico Madrid, Schalke, Roma and Ajax.

Who do you fancy?

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