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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Manchester City at PreZero Arena

PreZero Arena Referee : Damir Skomina
2nd October 2018 5:55 PM (BST)
  • 1 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

    • ‘1' Ishak Belfodil
  • 2 Manchester City

    • ‘7' Sergio Agüero
    • ‘87' David Silva


Commentary By Caroline Oatway


Andddd breathe!

That's all from me! What a night - I need a lie down!

A crucial win in Group F and a huge boost ahead of Sunday's top-of-the-table Premier League showdown at Anfield.

Stay tuned to for more post-match reaction, including more from Pep Guardiola and Vincent Kompany, plus Leroy Sane's thoughts.

Check out the match highlights from 11pm too! Until then, peruse stats from the game right here.

Happy Tuesday, Blues!



"It felt like the (opening) goal was offside but it wasn’t. These things happen.

"They had one or two shots on goal and that went in but credit to us for reacting like we did and scoring in the dying minutes.

"We’ve got to take the positives out of this game - the way we attacked with a high line. 

"It’s a fantastic result as every away game in the Champions League is such a hard game to get three points.

"It was the only way to put right the Lyon result and we did and now we can look forward to the rest of the group."


Vincent Kompany:

"It was a tough away game - a good physical game against a team that was well-organised and disciplined with a clear game plan.

"They were committing a lot of bodies forward so we had to be cautious.

"On the counter, we had chances and I’d say we dominated. We had possession and chances so it was a good away game.

"We don’t want to complain too much (about the decisions). It’s been a trend and if that trend reverses over the next six months...

 "Ultimately, we fought against that and we couldn’t be more happy about the performance and the result."


Pep Guardiola:

"(It means) A lot. After losing the first game it was so important we don't lose today - the game was tight and in the end (we won).

"To win in Germany is always so complicated. It's a good three points - we fought against a lot of things, and that is why it is satisfying for the team.

"In the first half we were better. In the second half, there was little bit of fear but even in the first half, we conceded shots.

"Hoffenheim are so well organised defensively and with the ball they are so strong. It was not easy to find it but at the end, we found the right moment to win the game.

"We need to live this experience to get better. You cannot make the next steps if you don't suffer - you don't live this experience so this will be good for the future."


Pat Nevin:

"City got the win and I think they needed to as a draw wasn’t enough. They stuck in there and made sure when an opportunity came up they took it.

"This wasn’t a totally dominant display from Man City, it was much, much less than that. But that wasn’t much to do with City, it was more to do with Hoffenheim.

"I was very impressed with them and they will take more points off teams in this group, which is good for Man City."


Stat attack

City are unbeaten in our last six Champions League games against German opponents (W5 D1).

Hoffenheim have won just one of their 10 matches in European competition (D3 L6).

Hoffenheim’s Ishak Belfodil netted after 43 seconds; the quickest goal scored against an English team in the Champions League since Stephan el Shaarawy vs Chelsea in October 2017 (39 seconds) and the quickest goal City have conceded in the competition.


What a win!

Talk about grinding out a result!

A fantastic victory for the Blues, thanks to Silva's late strike.

It didn't look to be our night but a moment of individual magic from the Man of the Match snatched a crucial three points.



Success in the face of adversity. THAT is what Champions are made of.

A Jimmy Grimble toe-poke from 70 yards, it was not - but the feeling is the same!!!



A goal all of his own making, as he dispossesses Posch in his own penalty area and drives the ball across Baumann and into the bottom corner!!!






Every decision seems to be going against City. I know how Jimmy Grimble feels when Greenock played Wreckingham in the first half of their Manchester Schools Cup tie.

If you know...


How is that not a penalty?!

Incredible! Baumann comes charging out as Sane sprints after the ball. The German taps it past him and is floored by the arms of the sliding goalkeeper - but somehow, there's nothing given!



An instant impact from Bernardo, who turns his marker before floating to the backpost for Aguero - but the Argentine can't generate the power with his header and it's saved.


Tactical switch

Stones has stepped into a defensive midfield role, alongside Ferna.

City are now playing three at the back, with Gundo moving to left-wing and Sane to the right. Sterling has moved forward too.



Almost an embarrassing error there, as Ederson comes charging out to clear Baumann's goalkick. The ball bounces over his head but thankfully, Sane is there to cover! Phew!



Otamendi attacks a free-kick at the backpost. It's deflected and from the resulting corner, Ferna tries a daisy-cutter, which is well-saved.



Laporte does well to skip past the defender, before crossing to Silva at the near post. The Spaniard sticks out a leg but it's the wrong side of the post.


Out of the blocks

The home side have started the second half brightly. Thankfully, not with a goal this time.

Grillitsch goes close with an arrowing effort, just after the ball had been whipped dangerously across the face of goal.



Well, that was absolute chaos!

A disastrous start but we responded well.

Unusually, we've been gifted acres of space on several occasions - particularly in the middle - but equally, we've looked very shaky at the back.

We have had chances to score - more than the hosts. You do get the feeling that if we score a second, we may well go on to bag a few - but things don't seem to be going our way so it could prove to be 'one of those nights'.


Deja vu

Hoffenheim's opener heralded the second time Pep Guardiola had conceded a goal against the German outfit in the first minute, having also done so with Bayern in August 2015.


A flurry of activity!

Phew! It's all happening.

From Silva writhing around in pain, to getting back up and weaving more magic. Then Sane dances into the box; his effort is deflected into the path of Aguero, who stretches but can't divert between the unguarded posts!


Argentine Ace

Sergio Aguero is just the second player to score in five consecutive away Champions League appearances for an English team after Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United in 2003.


Stop right there!

Harsh! Silva looks to take a quick throw-in to send Sane clear but the referee pulls it back. No idea why but City - Guardiola included - are not impressed!


Great save

Almost a stunning counter-attack, as Sterling races clear. Silva superb again, turning in the centre before playing the pass.

Baumann did well to be fair, closing down the shot to make the block.



Right, back to square one...

City need to calm things down and control possession for a spell. We're back in it quickly - no need to panic. Let's just play.



Hoffenheim want a penalty as Demirbay hits the floor, under pressure from Walker. Would have been soft - and rightly, it's not given.

Otamendi is booked for an earlier tackle from behind.


Magic moment

Wonderful from Silva, who releases Sane with a gorgeous through-ball. The German latches onto it before crossing for Aguero, who beats he defender and converts at the near post.

Get in!



Lovely from Sterling, who drives at the Hoffenheim defence with a jinking run. Looked to be upended on the edge but nothing doing, according to the referee.

Aguero has also struck an effort wide. Positive response.


Out they come...

The two teams step out onto the pitch. It's time for the anthem and the handshakes.

City are sporting our purple third kit - slightly amended with orange shorts. Hoffenheim in their traditional royal blue and white.


In the opposition dugout...

Julian Nagelsmann has been gaining some plaudits for his leadership in Hoffenheim's rise.

Pep Guardiola is amongst his fans.

“I sent him a text,” Guardiola said. “Tomorrow will be the first time we will have met each other. We talk about young players and talent.

“Of course, I’m really impressed. He is so young and they keep getting better and better.

“He will have a lot of success in his career. He is already managing a good team in a top competition.

“I’m looking forward to facing him and hopefully, this season won’t be the last time we play each other.

“I’ve already played (Hoffenheim) two or three times. Villarreal is a small town but they go far in the competition. It doesn’t matter how big the town is – it’s about how you play on the pitch.”


Did you know...?

City have won four and drawn one of the last five matches against German opposition but will look to end a run of four consecutive Champions League defeats this evening.

Pep Guardiola has never lost a game to Hoffenheim in six previous meetings, winning five and drawing the other.


A must-win?

The general consensus in the footballing world is that City cannot afford to drop points this evening - even a draw could prove detrimental to our hopes of progression, following the home defeat to Lyon on Matchday One. Do you agree?

Claiming a victory tonight may well prove to be a more testing task than originally feared too, with Hoffenheim having held Shakhtar to a 2-2 draw. The home side, who also drew 1-1 with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga, will head into the clash without pressure or expectation, but with the backing of a passionate local following.



XI: Ederson, Walker, Laporte,  Kompany (c), Otamendi, Gundogan, Sane, Silva, Fernandinho, Sterling, Aguero.

SUBS: Muric, Zinchenko, Danilo, Stones, Bernardo, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus.


Aymeric Laporte:

“It’s not a great start to lose your first match in the Champions League.

“We have a team capable of winning major trophies, and the Champions League is one of those. We’re going to keep working to get there and to go all the way.

“Losing a game gives you experience, winning a match gives you experience. Everything comes together in terms of your experience, and you learn how to manage different situations and to win games that require a different approach.

“In cases like that, of course you learn, and you see what happens.

“We’re Manchester City - we’re a team who are capable of winning every competition and we are competitive. We have a team capable of winning every game we play in, so every game is important for us.

“It goes without saying that a draw or a defeat is a negative outcome for us. Of course, winning isn’t always possible, there are going to be days where it doesn’t go your way, but we need to be really demanding of ourselves, because we have top players and there’s a lot expected of us.”


Ilkay Gundogan (on Hoffenheim):

"The club has gone through a tremendous development and has grown a lot in recent years. They had the misfortune not to make it past Liverpool - the eventual finalist - in the play-offs last year and now they have the chance to win the UEFA Champions League.

"Of course, this is something completely incredible for every individual in the club. The 2-2 draw at Donetsk has shown that they have a very good team to reach the round of 16.

"Our task is to achieve a good result It will not be easy for us but we are confident enough that if we play our best football then we will come back with three points."


Moving swiftly on...

A very good evening from the Rhein-Neckar-Arena!

We are approximately two hours from kick-off in Germany so stay tuned for all of the match build-up, plus live minute-by-minute coverage and post-match reaction...


Full-time in UYL


The pendulum swings again




Hoffenheim boss Julian Nagelsmann:

“I play against Pep Guardiola for the first time and, from his professional career, he is a good point of reference.

“I'm really looking forward to our first Champions League game at home. Until now I've been feeling fairly normal and we've been concentrating on training but, as of tonight [Monday night], there'll certainly be plenty of excitement.

“Man City expect to win the game and I'm expecting them to focus on their strengths, but we've come up with a very brave plan.

“There will not be a battle of tactics. Our main strength is our style of play and everyone who takes the field for us will be brave in possession. We will look forward with anticipation and courage.”


European dream

Vincent Kompany says he would love to add a European trophy to his City collection.

The Blues skipper, who celebrated his ten-year anniversary at the Club in August, has lifted nine domestic trophies since donning sky blue.

Having played in each of our Champions League campaigns, since City first qualified at the end of the 2010/11 season, Kompany hopes to lead his side to success in the continent’s elite competition but admits the feat is a difficult one to accomplish.

“I’d love to win a European trophy with City,” he told press, “but I’m realistic and it’s so tough.

“Across Europe, there are six or seven other teams that are thinking the same. It’s difficult because there are good teams in the Champions League. The season before last, we went all the way to the semi-final.

“We have to deal with the fact that we lost to Lyon before we think of winning the competition."


Injury news

Guardiola also provided updates on Kevin De Bruyne, who returned to training on Monday, Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy.

“KDB isn’t here because he still is not able to play,” he continued. “We have missed his quality but he’s back.

“Today was the first training session with the team so we will see when he’s ready.

“Delph, no (he is not fit and will not play against Liverpool on Sunday). Mendy, maybe. We have enough days until the game so hopefully.

“The problem is, they still haven’t trained with us. When we return, they can train with us.”


Team news

Pep Guardiola says he will assess Sergio Aguero’s fitness today, after it was revealed on Saturday that the Argentine striker had been playing with a foot injury since the triumph over Newcastle.

“(Tuesday) is such a big game and he (Sergio Aguero) is here because the doctors said he is able,” Guardiola told press.

“We will decide whether to play him or Gabriel Jesus.”


It's matchday!

A very good morning, Blues!

City are back in action this evening with a Champions League trip to Hoffenheim.

It's a 5:55pm (BST) kick-off and as always, we'll have full coverage right here on