Riyad Mahrez saw his second-half penalty saved as Manchester City could only manage a goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. However, the point in Germany was enough for City to win the group and be one of the seeded teams when the draw for the last 16 of the competition takes place.
But it was a frustrating night for the blues as they recorded a second successive goalless draw in the competition and, for the second time, missed a penalty that could have secured all three points.
Manager Pep Guardiola lamented his side’s problems from the penalty spot, with City missing 25 of their 80 penalties under Guardiola’s reign. “It’s too many,” said the Catalan boss after the match. “You always have to admire the courage, but missing so many penalties is a problem. We have to improve. It comes down to fine margins in this competition and these situations can make the difference.”
Mahrez had won the spot-kick himself after being fouled by Emre Can. However, despite the Algerian making a decent, goalkeeper Gregor Kobel guessed the right way to deny the blues the opening goal.
Had it been converted, it could well have been a goal that City didn’t deserve. For all their possession in the first half, City hadn’t mustered a shot on target until the penalty, and only went on to get another two on target.
Guardiola, perhaps having City’s visit to Leicester in mind on Saturday lunchtime, mixed things up, giving Ederson a rest in goal and playing both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez up front.
But time and again, the blues struggled to break down a determined Dortmund side, who were looking for the three points to deny the blues top spot. The home side tried to put City under pressure, but seemed resigned to the fact that they would finish second behind the blues.
Haaland, playing in front of his former supporters for the first time, was taken off at half-time with what Guardiola described as a fever and a knock to his foot. “I don’t know right now,” was the Catalan’s response when asked how serious the knock was. “I spoke with [the medical staff] at half-time and they were a little bit concerned, but I saw him walking more or less normally. We will see.”
The blues complete their Champions League group matches with a home contest against Sevilla next Wednesday, the first of four successive home games before the World Cup.
Final Score: Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Manchester City