Manchester City and Monaco played out one of the greatest Champions League games in living memory last night as Pep Guardiola's team, twice behind, rallied to and take a 5-3 lead to France. City's home advantage and the fact they rested most of their players at the weekend played a major part toward the end of the game.

First half

Monaco flew out of the blocks and their youthful did to City what the likes of Sane, Sterling and Jesus had been done to teams in recent weeks. It was surprising that it took 27 minutes for the deadlock to be broken. Leroy Sane came in from the left and evaded three players before being slid in by David Silva.

Sane cooly squared the ball to an onrushing Raheem Sterling, who still to me looked marginally offside.

The goal didn't take the wind out of Monaco's sails however and their continued pressing of City's back four reaped a reward as a loose Caballero kick was worked out wide to Manchester United target Fabinho, who crossed sumptuously to Falcao who had the simple task of nodding past the helpless keeper.

Then came what many people thought would be the turning point in the game, me included. Three minutes after the goal, Aguero was clean through and had rounded Subasic before going to ground in what appeared to be a stone-wall penalty. Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz didn't see it that way and brandished a yellow card for simulation, despite clear contact from the Croatian goalkeeper's outstretched leg.

Five minutes later Monaco won a free-kick in their own half and lumped the ball over City's defence to the advancing Kylian Mbappé, the 18 year old keeping cool to lift the ball over Caballero to take his team into the break at 2-1 up.

Second half madness

The counter from the Ligue 1 leaders continued to threaten the ever vulnerable City back line at the start of the second half.

Five minutes in and the linesman spotted an infringement from Nicolas Otamendi on Radamel Falcao before Lahoz pointed to the spot. The Colombian striker took an eternity to line up his spot kick, 23 seconds in fact. He stuttered and sent a poor penalty low to the left of Caballero who saved with ease.

There was a new lease of life from City and they levelled in fortuitous circumstances, Raheem Sterling countering and sliding in Aguero, whose tame shot was fumbled by Subasic, seemingly lifting the demon of the strikers back.

Three minutes later a simple long ball over the top caught out Stones and Falcao cooly dinked the ball over Caballero to make it 3-2 and put Monaco firmly in control of the tie with half an hour to go.

After a brief 10 minutes of cat and mouse, City got themselves back on level terms again from a corner. There was no element of fortune to this goal from Sergio Aguero, who masterfully steered home a whipped, dropping David Silva corner. It was game on and the fans reacted to the players celebration as they drove forward in spades, pressing a tiring Monaco side further and further into their own third.

City took the lead six minutes later from another corner. Yaya Toure rose highest to flick on De Bruyne's cross which was poked in at the far post by a relieved John Stones.

Monaco continued to look leggy and City saved the best till last. Sergio Aguero made a clever run and was found by a gorgeous ball over the top from Silva. Aguero had the presence of mind to pass the ball around the keeper to Leroy Sane, who tapped the ball into an empty net.


The second leg is going to be an absolute thriller if this is anything to go by. Monaco know that they can't afford to have a defence as leaky as they did last night. City still have major problems and the Fernandinho experiment at left back, which had worked well enough in previous games, did not work and the central midfielder was constantly caught out by the impressive Bernardo Silva. Expect to see a more solid back four when City travel to France, with either Gael Clichy, Aleksander Kolarov or even Bacary Sagna filling in at left back.