MANCHESTER CITY'S German winger came to their rescue – and drove his countrymen InSane.
Pep Guardiola's depleted side's place at the top of Group F looked under threat as they trailed to a lively Hoffenheim side.
Alamy Live News10 Leroy Same enjoys leading the City turnaround as they rounded off their Champions League group finale on a high
But step forward Leroy Sane – who scored either side of the break to ensure City will have home advantage in the last 16.
All the talk in the last few days has been of Raheem Sterling after the shocking abuse he received at Chelsea on Saturday.
But it was his fellow winger and great pal Sane who took the headlines here – although the England man weighed in with a vital assist.
City have tied several of their young stars down to new contracts in recent weeks – the most recent being teen ace Phil Foden.
Getty Images – Getty10 Aymeric Laporte fouls Benjamin Huebner to concede the penalty opener for Hoffenheim
Reuters10 Another view of City defender Aymeric Laporte giving away a spot-kick by bundling down on Benjamin Hubner
Yet talks with £37 million wideman Sane have still not reached a conclusion – and this was a timely reminder why they need to keep him.
He made the difference just when it looked like City could be in for another tough night on the back of their defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Hoffenheim – who still had a chance of clinching a Europa League spot – made a strong start.
They went close as Nico Schulz cross was met by Florian Grillitsch but he did not get the connection he wanted.
Former Leicester man Andrej Kramaric who drives a shot just over the bar with Ederson stretching.
Reuters10 City keeper Ederson dives to his right – as Andrej Kramaric tucks his penalty down the middle
The Croatian then fashioned an opening for himself and sent a curling effort that was spectacularly tipped around the post by Ederson.
However from the resulting corner City did not clear their lines and Aymeric Laporte clumsily pulled down Benjamin Hubner.
Swedish ref Andreas Ekberg pointed to the spot – and as he denied a clear goal-scoring chance, City's Spanish defender was perhaps lucky that was the only punishment.
Kramaric sent Ederson the wrong way from the spot and the Germans had the lead – just as they did in the reverse fixture in early October.
On that night City hit back almost immediately and they almost did the same here.
Reuters10 Raheem Sterling and Co reflect on yet another miss in a game of many chances
PA:Press Association10 Leroy Sane swerves in his magnificent free-kick equaliser just before half-time
They needed to respond as a defeat here – coupled with a win for Lyon in Ukraine – could have seen Guardiola's men knocked off top spot.
A fizzing corner from Leroy Sane found the head of Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus but his effort cannoned back off the post.
Another flag-kick at the other end saw John Stones rise highest – however Baumann dived full stretch and made a smart save.
And the woodwork denied City once again when Gundogan whipped in a free-kick which was flicked on by Nico Otamendi but crashed off the bar.