Man City leave it late; Sexton set to start against Italy

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane after scoring against his old club Schalke. Photograph: Getty Images

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane after scoring against his old club Schalke. Photograph: Getty Images

Leroy Sané’s late equaliser and Raheem Sterling’s added-timer winner gave Manchester City a famous win in their Champions League last 16 first leg away to Schalke last night. After Pep Guardiola’s team took the lead, a controversial VAR decision to award Schalke the first of two penalties set up a shock result, before the late drama turned things back in City’s favour. A second half blitz by Atlético Madrid gave them a 2-0 first leg advantage over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus team, with the second leg in Turin to come. Irish teenage striker Michael Obafemi has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract at Southampton - last month the 18-year-old became the second youngest player to feature for the club in the Premier League.

Johnny Sexton is set to start in the number 10 jersey for Ireland’s trip to Rome to face Italy in the third round of the Six Nations this weekend, after being limited to just 103 minutes of rugby since the turn of the year. Joe Schmidt will not be making wholesale changes to his starting XV for their game in the Stadio Olimpico. In his column this morning, John O’Sullivan has been looking at the number of players used by Ireland from the start of the season preceding the Rugby World Cups of 2015 and 2019 up until the second match in the Six Nations Championships of those years.

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