Manchester City came from behind twice to secure a crucial two-goal advantage after a classic Champions League last-16 tie against Monaco at Etihad Stadium.
On a night of fluctuating fortunes and thrilling football, Pep Guardiola’s side were on the precipice in this tournament before dragging themselves back to ensure they go into the return in Monaco with a priceless lead.
Raheem Sterling gave Manchester City a 26th-minute advantage after fine work by Leroy Sane but Monaco proved their threat to lead before half-time through Radamel Falcao’s header and Kylian Mbappe’s powerful rising drive.
Falcao then saw a penalty saved by Willy Caballero just after the break before Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic’s blunder gave Sergio Aguero his first goal.
Colombian Falcao, back to his best after failed loan spells at Manchester United and Chelsea, then lifted a brilliant chip over Caballero to put Monaco back in front – but this was the signal for City to launch an enthralling attacking salvo.
Aguero – who felt he was denied a first-half penalty after he tumbled under a challenge from Subasic – volleyed in another equaliser before John Stones made amends for poor defending in the build-up to Falcao’s second by putting City ahead on the night with a sliding finish at the far post after 77 minutes.
Man of the match Sane handed City that two-goal cushion with a simple tap-in from Aguero’s pass eight minutes from time – but Monaco’s vibrant attacking ambition means this tie is far from over.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen 2-4 Atletico Madrid
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.
TUE 7 MAR 2017 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
- Arsenal v Bayern Munich
(agg 1 – 5)
- Napoli v Real Madrid
(agg 1 – 3)
WED 8 MAR 2017 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
- Barcelona v Paris Saint Germain
(agg 0 – 4)
- Borussia Dortmund v Benfica
(agg 0 – 1)
TUE 14 MAR 2017 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
- Juventus v FC Porto19:45
- Leicester City v Sevilla19:45
WED 15 MAR 2017 – CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
- Atlético Madrid v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
(agg 4 – 2)
- Monaco v Manchester City
(agg 3 – 5)