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UEFA Champions League 2018-19, Manchester City 2-1 TSG Hoffenheim: Hits and Flops

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
13 Dec 2018, 16:47 IST

Sane wheels away to celebrate one of his two goals with his City teammates
Sane wheels away to celebrate one of his two goals with his City teammates

Manchester City secured the top spot in their Champions League group but had to do it the hard way, recovering from an early 1-0 deficit to win 2-1 against a spirited Hoffenheim side at the Etihad Stadium. 

Gabriel Jesus and Nicolas Otámendi both hit the woodwork in the first half as Pep Guardiola's side reacted quickly after Andrej Kramaric's penalty strike. But the hosts needed some brilliance from an in-form Leroy Sané either side of half-time to ensure all three points.

Lyon drew with Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F's other fixture, meaning Lyon will join the Citizens in the competition's knockout rounds and Shakhtar will be playing UEFA Europa League football in the new year.

With all of that in mind, here's an extended look at the five best and worst performers from this affair at Eastlands:


#5 Flop: Aymeric Laporte

Laporte conceded a needless penalty after tugging on to captain Hubner
Laporte conceded a needless penalty after tugging on to captain Hubner

Plenty of questions were asked of John Stones, filling in at right-back for a less-than-100% Kyle Walker. But he gave a good account of himself, despite clearly not being comfortable there.

However, his usual centre-back partner Laporte struggled early on and committed a needless spot-kick after 15 minutes. 

His tug on Benjamin Hubner was enough to convince the referee, and although you could argue Hubner was looking for it, the Frenchman gave him very little choice.

Starting alongside Nicolas Otamendi, who doesn't really strike confidence into his teammates given his defensive frailties, Laporte was lackluster against a game Hoffenheim side who were more than up for the challenge. 

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He ended the match as the only defender on either starting line-up not to register a single tackle or interception. He made one clearance and gave away a needless penalty in easily his worst performance of the season. 

Laporte has been excellent this season but everyone has off-days, which is understandable. That being said, there can't be many more of these displays.

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