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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Man City come from behind to seal top spot

Manchester City overcame a ponderous start to the game coming back from a goal down to defeat Hoffenheim 2-1 and take top spot in the group thanks to an improved second half showing and a brace from Leroy Sane.

City boss Pep Guardiola had complained about the injury crisis depriving him of experienced members of the first team, but even that fact could not explain the slow start his team made to this game, and it was no surprise when Hoffenheim took the lead.

City had given the ball away cheaply and already the visitors had a couple of chances before they deservedly took the lead. A corner was failed to be cleared and Aymeric Laporte pushed Benjamin Hubner in the back for a penalty.

Andrea Kramaric made no mistake with the spot kick after moments earlier seeing his shot brilliantly saved by Ederson.

The goal seemed to wake the home side from their stupor and two headers from Gabriel Jesus and Hoffenheim's Joelinton almost levelled for City but both crashed against the woodwork.

Still City pressed yet the German's looked dangerous on the counter attack trying to improve their poor European record having won only one of their 13 European matches, home and away and yet to win away.

But just as it seemed the visitor's would go in at the break ahead Leroy Sane equalised against his countrymen on the stroke of half time with a superb free kick from distance.

City were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second period and Raheem Sterling and Laporte both had efforts charged down by the Hoffenheim defence. Jesus saw his shot deflected wide by keeper Oliver Baumann as the home side increased the pressure.

Then City broke quickly with three against one but over elaborated and Bernardo Silva saw hit shot blocked by Baumann for a corner. How the City faithful groaned their frustration. Back came the Germans and Ederson's outstretched leg saved from substitute and Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson.

Finally City's persistence paid off and Sane, after a one-two with Sterling, finished with style bringing a roar of relief from the home support.

It was almost three when Phil Foden saw his glorious volley palmed over. The visitor's still looked to attack but this created opportunities for City on the break with Sterling missing one of their better chances late on.

Full Time

Group F

Man City : 2 (Sane 45, 61)

Hoffenheim : 1 (Kramaric pen 15

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Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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