MANCHESTER: Manchester City battled back to winning ways, coming from a goal down to overwhelm Hoffenheim 2-1 in the Champions League with a brilliant Leroy Sane double that ensured they progressed to the last-16 as winners of Group F on Wednesday. The already-qualified English champions, who had suffered their first league defeat in 22 matches at Chelsea on Saturday, needed a point to guarantee top spot but were quickly shocked again when going behind to an Andrej Kramaric penalty. Yet in a hugely entertaining and open encounter, German starlet Sane inspired the comeback against the Bundesliga side with a magnificent free kick moments before the break and another neatly-taken left foot finish just after the hour. The win, which should have been far more decisive such was City’s dominance with 25 goal attempts, saw them top the table on 13 points, ahead of second-placed Olympique Lyonnais, who qualified on eight after they had drawn 1-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk. The Ukrainian side earned the Europa League spot in third place on six with Hoffenheim last on three.Published in Daily Times, December 14th 2018.