Manchester City secured a last-gasp victory against Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night with a late goal from Phil Foden.
A poor Emre Can giveaway in midfield led to Man City’s first goal of the game as Kevin De Bruyne redirected Riyad Mahrez’s cross past Marwin Hitz in the Dortmund goal to give his side the lead just before 20 minutes.
Can’s rough night looked set to continue when he was whistled for a penalty on City’s Rodrigo, but the Germany international was bailed out after a VAR check showed there was a handball before his foul.
Dortmund looked to have drawn level before half-time when Jude Bellingham dispossessed Man City keeper Ederson and was left to tap into an empty net, but the referee harshly whistled the 17-year-old for a foul on the play and Pep Guardiola’s team took their one-goal lead into the break.
The visitors faced a tough challenge in the second half as they tried to find a way back into the game against a Man City team that came into the match without conceding a goal in the Champions League for 706 minutes.
Ederson came to City’s rescue early in the second half, saving from Erling Haaland with an outstretched foot as the German side continued to cause City problems.
Dortmund did well to keep the deficit to a red-hot City team at a single goal before Marco Reus finished off a nice team move with a slick strike to give his team an important away goal.
However, Foden scored a clever goal from an Ilkay Gundogan assist just before full-time to give Man City the win and an ever-so-slender advantage over Dortmund for the return leg on April 14 in Germany and a spot in the Champions League semifinals on the line.
The Champions League has not been kind to Manchester City in the past and it looked, for five minutes at least, like they would be facing yet another uphill task in Germany after Reus equalised for Dortmund.
City may have been thinking their difficulties in Europe’s elite competition had returned, but they deserve huge credit for mounting what effectively had to be an instant response to claw back the advantage.
This tie is not over by any means, not with Haaland such a massive threat even though he was relatively quiet here, but make no mistake the picture looked a lot healthier for City at the final whistle than it did when Dortmund’s players celebrated wildly in an empty corner of the Etihad in the 84th minute.
And credit, too, to match-winner Foden as he kept getting into scoring positions despite squandering a couple of opportunities when he saw a shot saved by Hitz, then shot across the face of goal when he should have hit the target.