MX23RW : Tuesday, December 11 09:39:17
Oct 2, 2018 at 5.55pm UK at ​Rhein-Neckar-Arena
Attendance: 24,851
Hoffenheim
1-2
Man CityManchester City
FT(HT: 1-1)
Aguero (8'), Silva (87')

Live Commentary: Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Manchester City come from behind to earn a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in Tuesday's match in the Champions League.
Live Commentary: Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City - as it happened
© Reuters

Manchester City have returned to winning ways in the Champions League with a 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim in Tuesday's fixture in Germany.

Ishak Belfodil had given Hoffenheim the lead after just 44 seconds, but Sergio Aguero quickly found an equaliser from close range.

The game was heading towards a draw but with three minutes remaining, David Silva capitalised on a mistake in the Hoffenheim defence before lashing the ball into the bottom corner.

Find out how all of the action unfolded at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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4.55pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Champions League between Hoffenheim and Manchester City. Neither club were successful in their opening fixture in Group F, leaving the pressure on heading into today's match in Germany. Let's see who features in each starting lineup...

4.57pmMANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, D.Silva, Sane; Aguero

MANCHESTER CITY SUBSTITUTES: Muric, Zinchenko, Danilo, Stones, B.Silva, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus


4.59pmHOFFENHEIM XI: Baumann; Akpoguma, Hoogma, Posch, Kaderabek; Demirbay, Grillitsch, Brenet; Belfodil, Joelinton, Szalai

HOFFENHEIM SUBSTITUTES: Kobel, Nelson, Bittencourt, Kramaric, Grifo, Hack, Amade


5.02pmLet's start with Manchester City as Pep Guardiola opts to make just the two changes to the team which began the match with Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bernardo Silva have dropped out, with Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan being brought into the side.

5.03pmSergio Aguero has been nursing a foot injury and there had been the suggestion that the Argentine could begin this game on the bench with Liverpool to come at the weekend. However, Guardiola has decided to keep his top goalscorer in the team with Gabriel Jesus remaining on the bench.

5.06pmDanilo had been an option to come in at left-back, while Riyad Mahrez could have been handed a start in the final third, but Guardiola has instead decided to select Aymeric Laporte and David Silva, despite their workload in recent weeks.

5.08pmThose two players - and the likes of Bernardo Silva and John Stones - are named among the replacements, but there is no spot for Phil Foden.

5.10pmAs for Hoffenheim, Julian Nagelsmann has decided to keep the likes of Andrej Kramaric and Reiss Nelson out of the starting lineup. Kramaric is formerly of Leicester and Nelson is on loan from Arsenal, but the duo only feature on the substitutes' bench.

5.12pmHoffenheim are without Havard Nordtveit, Kevin Vogt and Ermin Bicakcic, leading to Stefan Posch, Kevin Akpoguma and Justin Hoogma all being drafted into the defence.

5.14pmLeonardo Bittencourt has surprisingly been left on the substitutes' bench, despite starting each of the club's six Bundesliga matches this season. Joshua Brenet comes into the team to make just his third start.

5.16pmThis is the Rhein-Neckar-Arena which will be rocking come kickoff. It is hosting its first-ever group stage fixture in this competition.



5.18pmManchester City head into this match sitting at the bottom of Group F courtesy of their 2-1 home defeat to Lyon a couple of weeks ago. Hoffenheim twice held a lead over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine before being pegged back to 2-2. It leaves the two clubs sitting in second and fourth-place respectively heading into this encounter.

5.20pmCity went into this competition as the pre-season favourites, but the English side were well below-par against Lyon. Guardiola's team could have perhaps stolen a point, but Lyon were full value for the win and the Ligue 1 outfit will fancy their chances of topping this group now.

5.22pmThat defeat also marked City's fourth in a row in this competition having also lost out to Basel and Liverpool twice. City are the first English side to ever record four defeats in succession in the Champions League.

5.24pmGuardiola is no stranger to facing Hoffenheim. The Spaniard did so on six occasions when in charge of Bayern Munich, winning five times and sharing the spoils once.

5.26pmDespite the setback against Lyon, Guardiola will still recognise that his side are still churning out results. City were unfortunate to only draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in August and aside from those two results, City have won each of their other eight matches.

5.28pmCity have also not conceded a goal in their last seven halves of football. Guardiola's teams are known for the amount of goals that they score, but the defence are also doing their bit.

5.30pmHoffenheim come into this match having put together an inconsistent run of form with three wins and three defeats coming in eight outings in all competitions.

5.32pmHowever, it appears that you are guaranteed entertainment when watching their matches. Hoffenheim have scored in each of those eight games and failed to keep a single clean sheet.

5.34pmThe club currently sit in 12th place in the Bundesliga standings, but just four points off a place in the top four. Nagelsmann won't push the panic button just yet.

5.36pmNelson has been a high-profile arrival at the club over the summer. The 18-year-old has made the switch to Hoffenheim in order to gain regular first-team football but as it stands, the winger has been given just 69 minutes from one start and two substitute outings in all competitions. The Englishman will no doubt hope to add to that this evening.

5.38pmPREDICTION! Hoffenheim, without back-to-back wins in all competitions since winning three in a row in April, head into this game sitting one point and one place above their opponents. Man City are strong favourites for a reason, however, and this fixture presents the perfect opportunity for the English champions to get their European campaign back on track. City to win by a 2-0 scoreline.

5.40pmHEAD TO HEAD! These two clubs are meeting for the first time in a competitive match!

5.42pmCity have played a total of 19 matches against teams from Germany, with nine wins and three draws being recorded.

5.44pmToday's match represents their fifth trip to Germany since 2013 having twice played each of Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach in Champions League fixtures. City's only defeat on their previous four visits came away at Bayern's Allianz Arena in 2014.

5.46pmHoffenheim have only faced English opposition on two occasions, with the club meeting Liverpool in the Champions League playoff round last season. Liverpool registered a 2-1 win in Germany with a 4-2 win coming in the reverse game at Anfield.

5.48pmBefore we get going, a quick reminder that Sports Mole will be providing coverage of Manchester United's clash with Valencia at the conclusion of this game. That isn't one that you want to miss!

5.50pmThe two teams have started to make their way out onto the pitch at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. This is a massive night for both clubs, especially City who cannot afford a second successive defeat.

5.54pmA reminder of the two starting lineups...

HOFFENHEIM XI: Baumann; Akpoguma, Hoogma, Posch; Kaderabek, Demirbay, Grillitsch, Brenet; Belfodil, Joelinton, Szalai

MANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson; Walker, Kompany, Otamendi, Laporte; Fernandinho, Gundogan; Sterling, D.Silva, Sane; Aguero


1 minKICKOFF:  Hoffenheim get us underway!

1 minGOAL!  Hoffenheim 1-0 Manchester City (Ishak Belfodil)

1 minOh my word - Hoffenheim take the lead in 44 seconds! The ball is threaded through to Belfodil, who cuts inside Laporte and slots an effort under the body of Ederson from inside the penalty area!

3 minThat goal has the potential to rock City, who cannot really afford to lose this game, but it has been a positive response with Aguero lashing a shot well wide of the post after the visitors had gone onto the front foot.

5 minAlready, you feel like this match could end in any score. Joelinton breaks down the right and sends a low cross into the middle, but Ederson does well to claim inside the six-yard box.

7 minHoffenheim try to take their time in possession in their defensive third, but City are right on them looking to force them into a mistake.

8 minGOAL!  Hoffenheim 1-1 Manchester City (Sergio Aguero)

8 minJust like that, City are level. Silva sends a ball through to Sane who could shoot from close range. However, the winger bides his time before teeing up Aguero, who takes a touch before directing the ball inside the near post from six yards out.

10 minHoffenheim are certainly showing more caution now that they are on level terms. I'm not sure that it will suit them taking the conservative approach.

12 minYELLOW CARD!  Otamendi goes into the book for a late challenge on the touchline. The referee had waved play on but has gone back to hand out a caution to the Argentine.

14 minCity look a constant threat once they gain possession of the ball, especially when they look to get Sane involved down the left.

16 minCHANCE!  Literally seconds after Hoffenheim mess up in the final third after beating the City offside trap, the visitors waste a chance to go ahead. Sterling is sent clear of the defence and advances into the penalty area, but the shot is fired too close to Baumann who diverts the ball behind for a corner.

17 minCHANCE!  From the resulting set piece, Otamendi gets above the defender to send a free header towards goal but it is mistimed and deflected wide.

19 minHoffenheim have gone with three at the back tonight but they look all at sea. It is only a matter of time before City make them pay. Sane and Sterling have so much space down the sides.

21 minMore of the same from City who are striking fear into the Hoffenheim defence. The home side manage to get the ball out for a corner but they are doing little to nullify City's threat.

23 minWe have not seen much of Walker in an attacking sense but the City full-back has just advanced all of 50 yards without any pressure whatsoever. It's another sign of City's intent and the space available to the wide players.

25 minThe chances have dried up over the past five or six minutes but City are completely in the ascendancy. Any counter-attacks from Hoffenheim are breaking down on the halfway line.

27 minHoffenheim currently have all 10 outfield players in their own defensive third. City are relentless here.

29 minCity win yet another corner - this time on the right - and Gundogan's outswinger finds the head of Kompany. However, despite forcing Baumann into a save, the centre-back is adjudged to have fouled a defender.

31 minHoffenheim have just about stemmed the constant wave of attacks which were coming at them and finally have some possession of their own. It may not be for long, but the home side desperately needed a breather.

33 minCHANCE!  So close for City! Sane's ball retention heading into the penalty area is remarkable and although possession is lost, the ball is only diverted towards Aguero who volleys marginally wide of the post from eight yards out.

35 minSHOT!  Aguero receives the ball on the edge of the area and only has one thought in his mind: Find the far top corner. The Argentine's effort looks pinpoint, but Baumann somehow claws the ball away from goal.

36 minYELLOW CARD!  Better from Hoffenheim who start to cause a threat going forward. It takes a cynical block from Fernandinho to halt their momentum.

38 minTwo attacks from Hoffenheim have at least forced City to think twice about ploughing men forward. The German side will be delighted if they go into the break on level terms.

40 minCHANCE!  What a let off for City. Laporte's back-pass is under-hit and Belfodil is able to run onto the ball and progress towards goal. However, the angle is against him and Ederson eventually makes a fairly comfortable save.

42 minSHOT!  Aguero almost scores a magnificent second, latching onto a long Ederson pass before cutting inside the defender and nearly finding the top corner from 20 yards out.

44 minCity have reverted back to the cautious approach - I;m not sure why because Hoffenheim remain there for the taking. Not long to half time now.

45 minThere will be one minute of added-on time.

45+1 minHALF TIME:  Hoffenheim 1-1 Manchester City

6.46pmThe half-time whistle goes in Germany and we remain on level terms, although I don't know how! Both goals came in the opening eight minutes, but City have had numerous opportunities to go ahead. I said it would be only a matter of time but credit to Hoffenheim - they have found a way to remain in this match.

6.50pmIt's fair to say that City were stunned when they went behind. They had only had one touch of the ball before Belfodil was played through on goal. The finish was a neat one, too, with the striker slotting his effort under the advancing Ederson.

6.54pmCity's leveller did not take long, with Sane and Aguero both showing superb composure before the latter managed to squeeze his effort inside the near post, despite pressure from a defender. The Argentine has probably been City's best player this evening.

46 minKICKOFF:  City get us back underway.

48 minSHOT!  Hoffenheim have made a fast start to this second half. Moments after a low cross posed a threat, Grillitsch's long-range effort clears the crossbar by a few yards.

50 minThe home side have had more of the possession since the restart, but City still look a threat every time that they come forward. It's about finding a balance for both sides.

52 minCity are yet to get a shot away in this second half, which is partly due to their hosts sitting deeper than they were before the break.

54 minSUBSTITUTION! Moments after Silva pokes a shot wide for City, Hoffenheim make their first change by introducing Kramaric for Szalai.

56 minCompared to the first half, the start to the second period has been largely uneventful. That said, Hoffenheim seem to have more of a hold on City, who are having to think twice about pushing forward.

57 minYELLOW CARD!  Demirbay doesn't fancy chasing after Silva and it leads to a foul being committed on the halfway line. It also leads to a booking for the German.

59 minSHOT!  A corner is only half-cleared into the path of Fernandinho, but the Brazilian's 25-yard strike is comfortably saved by Baumann.

61 minHoffenheim look in trouble in their own final third until the ball is moved forward cleverly. Possession is kept in the final third and it leads to Kompany committing a foul around 35 yards from goal.

63 minCity are starting to look second best here. Hoffenheim fail to make the most of a free kick and a corner, but City instantly gift possession back to their hosts.

64 minSUBSTITUTION! Guardiola has seen enough and looks to change formation. It has seen Stones replace Otamendi, with the Englishman moving into midfield. Walker, Kompany and Laporte make up a back three.

66 minYELLOW CARD!  Walker is the next City to be carded for a strong challenge on the right flank. It's studs-up and although Walker complains, he is fortunate to remain on the pitch.

68 minSUBSTITUTION! This is a blow for City. Gundogan has picked up what appears to be a hamstring problem, and Bernardo Silva is on to replace the German.

70 minWith 20 minutes left, City are starting to find this task increasingly difficult. They were expected to continue their dominance in the final third after the restart but it just hasn't happened.

72 minCHANCE!  Much better. Bernardo Silva does well down the left before finding Aguero at the back post, but the forward's header is not strong enough to get past Baumann.

73 minThis is an astonishing decision. Sane breaks forward and gets taken out by Baumann. However, the referee gives nothing - not a foul or a yellow card for a dive. It's a stone-waller.

75 minSUBSTITUTION! City make their final change with Mahrez replacing Sterling.

77 minIf City don't win this game, they will ask questions of the officials but they still aren't doing enough in the final third. Hoffenheim are good value for their point right now.

79 minThat said, City are beginning to up the pace of their play and Sane does excellently down the left before pulling the ball back for a teammate, only for the pass to evade everyone.

81 minHoffenheim look like they are prepared to try to see out the draw now. All of their outfield players are well within their own half. They would remain above City in Group F if they can earn a share of the spoils.

82 minSUBSTITUTION! A second switch for Hoffenheim sees Bittencourt come on for Grillitsch.

84 minMahrez looks to make something happen in the final third and good work from the Algerian leads to City winning a corner. However, Sane's set piece is headed clear.

87 minGOAL!  Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City (David Silva)

87 minCity snatch what could very well be the winning goal! Posch lingers on the ball in the penalty area and is dispossessed by David Silva, who then fires a low shot into the bottom corner.

89 minSUBSTITUTION! A final change for Hoffenheim sees Hack replace Demirbay.

90 minThere will be four minutes of added-on time. Hoffenheim are starting to push more men forward.

90+2 minBittencourt has looked lively since his introduction but it doesn't look like Hoffenheim are going to be able to salvage a point. City are remaining deep.

90+4 minYELLOW CARD!  Aguero goes into the book for kicking the ball away.

90+5 minFULL TIME:  Hoffenheim 1-2 Manchester City

7.51pmThe full-time whistle goes in Germany and City have held on to secure a 2-1 win over Hoffenheim. The Premier League champions were in trouble when going behind after 44 seconds, but goals from Aguero and Silva have got Guardiola's side back on track in Group F.

7.53pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope that you can stick around for the two fixtures involving Manchester United and Real Madrid.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Leroy Sane in action during Manchester City's meeting with Huddersfield Town on August 19, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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