Mobbed by his Manchester City teammates after scoring a sublime free kick, Leroy Sané held out his left hand in apology to the Schalke fans who once adored him but now had been stunned into silence.
Sané’s 85th-minute goal against his former club gave City, the defending English champions, an equalizer just when it looked like they had run out of ideas in their Champions League match on Wednesday. But, it turned out, the visitors weren’t done.
Five minutes later, Raheem Sterling latched onto a long ball forward from goalkeeper Ederson and calmly finished into the bottom corner to earn City a 3-2 win over Schalke in the first leg of its round of 16 match in Gelsenkirchen.
With the win, a third quarterfinal berth in four years looks likely for a team that has yet to lift the biggest prize in European soccer despite spending vast amounts under its Abu Dhabi ownership over the past decade.
And its quest for the quadruple is still on. City leads the Premier League, plays in the final of the English League Cup on Sunday, and is into the quarterfinals of the F.A. Cup.
The Champions League will be the hardest to win. But with game-changers like Sané coming off the bench to such great effect, City has the talent to do it.
“You can see the will is a lot — we never give up, we always want to keep fighting,” said Sané, who added that he was “a little bit sad” to damage Schalke’s chances in the competition.
City had to play down a man after Nicolás Otamendi received a second yellow card in the 68th for a foul on substitute Guido Burgstaller but the English club managed to recover with the goals from Sané and Sterling.
ATLÉTICO MADRID 2, JUVENTUS 0 Atlético kept Cristiano Ronaldo in check as it defeated visiting Juventus in the first leg of their round of 16 match.
Defenders José Giménez and Diego Godín scored late goals to give Atlético the win in a game in which video review played a key role, with two big calls going against the hosts.
Ronaldo, jeered nearly every time he touched the ball, had a quiet performance in his first match in the Spanish capital since leaving Real Madrid last summer. He came close to scoring with a booming shot from a free kick less than 10 minutes into the match but had few opportunities after that.
Heavily marked from the start, Ronaldo wasn’t able to add to his impressive record against the old rival, whom he helped eliminate in four straight seasons in the Champions League while playing for Real Madrid.
Atletico had a first-half penalty reversed by the video assistant referee after it determined that Diego Costa had been fouled outside the area, and the referee also consulted video replays on the pitchside monitor before disallowing a second-half goal by Álvaro Morata for a push on Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini.