Manchester City rally to beat Monaco 5-3

Manchester City twice came from behind to beat Monaco in a thrilling encounter and put Pep Guardiola’s side in a strong position to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring in a topsy-turvy last 16 first-leg tie at the Etihad Stadium with a close-range finish before ex-Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao headed in an equalizer.

Monaco’s teenage forward Kylian Mbappe then drove into the roof of the net before Willy Caballero prevented the visitors from going further ahead when he saved Falcao’s tame penalty.

Danijel Subasic let Sergio Aguero’s tame strike-slip past him to make it 2-2 but Falcao’s exquisite chip restored Monaco’s lead.

However, City struck back in a grandstand finish as Aguero volleyed in an equalizer before John Stones tapped in from a corner.

And Leroy Sane added a fifth for the hosts when he fired in from Aguero’s pass.

The win means Monaco will have to score at least twice in the return leg at Stade Louis II stadium on 15 March to have any chance of denying City a place in the last eight.

Aguero’s Manchester City future has been the subject of debate in recent times with recent arrival Gabriel Jesus appearing to find greater favour with manager Guardiola – but how can they seriously consider life without this world-class striker?

City may have been rattling at the back but Aguero was in magnificent form throughout, terrorizing Monaco with his prodigious work-rate and sheer menace.

Aguero was denied a penalty in the first half when he was booked for diving after he was upended by Monaco keeper Subasic but he was not to be denied and was a key component of City’s enthralling fightback.

He enjoyed some deserved good fortune when his shot went straight through Subasic for his first goal but he delivered a sumptuous right-foot volley to make it 3-3 and then set up Sane for the crucial fifth goal that gave City that two-goal advantage.

Aguero was substituted to a standing ovation and a kiss on top of the head from his manager with four minutes left – this was the night he delivered proof, as if it were needed, that he is the man City and Guardiola cannot do without.

Credit BBC Sports