Manchester City recovered from conceding an early first half goal to beat Borussia Dortmund and claim a place in the semi final of the Champions League. A penalty from Riyad Mahrez and a stunning striker from Phil Foden sealed a 4-2 aggregate victory after Jude Bellingham had given the home side a 15th minute lead.
The blues missed a hatful of chances in last week’s first leg and were made to pay when Marco Reus equalised Kevin de Bruyne’s first half opener. However, as on Wednesday night, Foden had popped up with a goal to send City to Germany with a slender advantage.
After a surprise home defeat to Leeds United, manager Pep Guardiola made seven changes to the starting line-up, bringing Foden, Mahrez and Kevin de Bruyne back to face the Germans, with Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho and Nathan Ake all replaced as City attempted to reach the Champions League semi-final for the first time since 2016.
All eyes again were on Dortmund striker Erling Bruat Haaland, facing a Premier League side on his own territory for the first time, while Bellingham, who harshly had a goal disallowed at the Etihad Stadium a week ago, was also firmly in the spotlight.
But as in the first leg, the combination of Stones and Dias kept the Norwegian star largely at bay, but the striker still played a part in Dortmund’s goal. Haaland found space down the left held of Stones to play the ball into the area. A fierce shot cannoned of the City defence and fell to Bellingham, and the 17-year-old showed composure in the penalty area to pick up the loose ball and angle a shot which Ederson could only assist in diverting into the top corner.
That goal opened up the game and City, knowing they now had to score, went forward in search of an equaliser. Kevin de Bruyne dispossessed the Dortmund defence on the edge of the box and crashed a shot against the bar, with Bernardo Silva heading the rebound wide. City had a flurry of corners which came to nothing as the half ended, however it was clear that City weren’t going down without a fight.
The blues came out with intent after the interval and ten minutes into the second half, they were given a golden opportunity to level when Emre Can gave away a penalty. Foden’s cross into he box was headed by Can onto his own arm, and the referee pointed to the spot, with VAR confirming the award.
Given City’s record with penalties this season, many City fans will have no doubt found something else to occupy their time while Riyad Mahrez prepared to take the spot-kick. The Algerian missed a last-minute penalty at Liverpool two seasons ago, but this time he made no mistake. The keeper guessed the right way, but the penalty had power and height which took it beyond Hitz and into the back of the net.
With a 3-2 aggregate lead, City looked determined to finish the job. De Bruyne almost scored one of the best Champions League goals of all time when he slalomed his way through the Dortmund defence, beating three players before hitting a low shot that Hitz managed to tip away for a corner.
It was a very short reprieve for Dortmund. From the corner, Silva found Foden in acres of space and the midfielder had time to control the ball, pick his spot and unleash a superb shot that hit the post and bounced into he goal to give City the lead on the night and a 4-2 aggregate scoreline.
Foden immediately ran to celebrate the goal with his manager while the rest of the City team piled on, and it was clear what that goal meant for both Guardiola and Foden, who realised he had just fired his boyhood club into the semi-final.
City had further opportunities to put the tie beyond doubt, but they weren’t needed as the full-time whistle blew and City were through.
The blues now face PSG in Paris on April 28th, three days after their League Cup Final with Spurs before the return leg takes place on 4th May in Manchester.
Final Score: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Manchester City