FC Schalke 04 4-3 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Ten-man Sporting came back from 3-1 down to level only for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to convert a last-gasp penalty.
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• Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting converts added-time penalty to secure Group G win
• Sporting come back from 3-1 down to level despite being reduced to ten men
• Schalke fall beind early but take control after Maurício's 33rd-minute dismissal
• Schalke three points clear of Maribor in second place, Sporting one adrift at bottom
• Next games: Sporting v Schalke (5 November)
FC Schalke 04 withstood a comeback by ten-man Sporting Clube de Portugal to edge an enthralling 4-3 win in UEFA Champions League Group G.
Full of optimism following a workmanlike victory over Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga at the weekend, the home fans demonstrated their support for a new era under the stewardship of Roberto Di Matteo with an impressive pre-match mosaic bearing the message: "The whole city is behind you!"
The Royal Blues made good on their promise to dominate too with much of the early possession. Yet it was Sporting who looked the more creative with Nani and Islam Slimani each misfiring early chances. When João Mário rolled a low corner to the unmarked Nani on 17 minutes, however, the former Manchester United FC man needed no second invitation to score his second of this season's competition.
Schalke almost hit back immediately as Julian Draxler fired a searing volley just wide of the post from Chinedu Obasi's cross. Sporting continued to look dangerous on the break, but the tide quickly turned in the hosts' favour as Maurício was shown a second yellow card for an unwieldy aerial challenge on Marco Höger to leave the visitors a man down just 33 minutes in.
The numerical disadvantage proved costly. Dennis Aogo swung over the resulting free-kick and Obasi's header squirmed under Rui Patrício to level the scores. The ten men of Sporting held out until the interval but their apparent decision not to shut up shop for the second period soon backfired as Obasi slipped in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for his third in as many group games this season.
Now firmly in the ascendancy, Schalke again went close through substitute Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting before captain Benedikt Höwedes rose to head in his side's third from Kaan Ayhan's free-kick and seemingly sew up the three points. However, Sporting were thrown a lifeline when Ayhan brought down André Carrillo in the box.
Adrien Silva converted the subsequent penalty and, with 12 minutes remaining, headed in unmarked at the far post. But as it seemed Schalke were heading for a third draw, they were awarded a penalty which substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting converted.