Manchester City 5-3 AS Monaco

Manchester City beat Monaco 5-3 at the Etihad on Feb. 21. Here are all the highlights from the Champions League match.

We saw the very best and very worst of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Monaco. In the end, the good outweighed the bad, but my goodness did they push their luck.

City started the match as they have started so many others this term, passing the ball apprehensively around their back line. Willy Caballero was the most wasteful of the back five, misplaying the ball on several occasions, but it seemed City would get more of the space they crave when Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in the 26th minute.

Leroy Sane, excellent all match, beat three Monaco players on the dribble, briefly lost the ball, recollected it thanks to David Silva and passed to Sterling for a simple finish.

Then, as they have so often this season, City’s old failings came back to haunt them. Lazy defending at the back post from John Stones and Bacary Sagna allowed Radamel Falcao, scorer of 22 goals in all competitions this season, space at the back post to head in a Kylian Mbappe cross. The move began with a Caballero giveaway.

Monaco took the lead a little under 10 minutes later, this time after City’s center-backs failed to deal with a routine long ball. Mbappe converted with a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

There was also time amid City’s defensive meltdown for Kevin De Bruyne to play Sergio Aguero clean through on goal. The Argentine appeared to be fouled by Monaco keeper Danijel Subasic, but was instead given a yellow for diving. It was an unfortunate decision — replays showed there was contact — but not unfortunate enough to explain the two goals the Citizens conceded.

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