Manchester City will take a narrow lead to Germany after emerging with a 2-1 win from their hard-fought first-leg encounter against Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad.
The game started brightly for Pep Guardiola’s side, and they took an early lead when Emre Can’s misplaced pass in midfield was ruthlessly punished, with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez combining to tee up Kevin de Bruyne to slot home.
And it looked as if another Can error had gifted City a second golden opportunity just minutes later, only for the referee and VAR to scratch out a penalty decision for a non-existent high boot.
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Dortmund felt they should have had an equaliser shortly before the break when Jude Bellingham nipped in to dispossess Ederson and tuck home into an empty net, only for the ref to blow up for a harsh foul before the ball had crossed the line – with the timing of the whistle meaning that VAR was unable to get involved.

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The largely uninvolved Erling Haaland showed his class with a brilliant effort shortly after the break, with only the feet of Ederson denying him an equaliser. And City also went close in the second half, with the excellent Foden testing the goalkeeper on a couple of occasions.

) Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund and goalkeeper Ederson of Manchester City battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at Manchester City Football Academy on April 6, 2021 in

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Dortmund never looked out of the game, and the visitors got the away goal that their performance merited on 84 minutes. Jude Bellingham and Haaland combined cleverly to work Reus into space inside the City box, and the captain made no mistake with his effort, drilling a fine shot across the keeper and into the far bottom corner.
But, just when it looked like the German visitors had secured a draw, up stepped De Bruyne to whip in a brilliant cross towards the back post, and Ilkay Gundogan teed it up for Foden to slot home and give City a narrow advantage in the tie.
The teams don’t have to wait long for the second leg, with the return meeting scheduled for Wednesday 14 April.

6: Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at Etihad Stadium on April 06, 2021 in Manchester, England

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Talking Point – City have been warned

The visitors caused City plenty of problems all evening, keeping things reasonably solid at the back and transitioning with impressive efficiency whenever the opportunity presented itself to get numbers forward.
Jude Bellingham was particularly impressive in midfield for Dortmund, with the young 17-year-old defying his tender years to cause City more of a headache in the centre of the park than they’ve had for some time. Haaland didn’t have much to work with, but he very nearly dispatched the one chance that fell his way in the second half, and the Premier League leaders will need to be on it next week… if they aren’t then this Dortmund side have definitely shown that they have the tools to consign Guardiola’s side to another quarter-final exit.

Dortmund's German forward Marco Reus (L) celebrates after scoring the equalising goal with Dortmund's Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland (L)during the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester City and Borussia Do

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Man of the Match – Phil Foden

De Bruyne was excellent again for City, but it was Foden who caused Dortmund the biggest problems on the night, opening the visitors up time and again down his left flank. He should have scored when De Bruyne found him in the box with about 20 minutes to go, but he made no mistake when a chance fell to him again in the 90th minute, turning home for the goal that his performance very much deserved. It feels like he’s been around for ever, but the 20-year-old seems to be getting better by the week right now and has all of the tools to be one of Europe’s very best midfielders.

Player Ratings

Man City: Ederson 5; Walker 6, Stones 6, Dias 6, Cancelo 7; Rodri 6, De Bruyne 8, Gündoğan 7; Mahrez 6, Bernardo 7, Foden 8. Subs: Jesus 6
Dortmund: Hitz 6; Morey 7, Hummels 7, Akanji 6, Guerreiro 6; Can 5, Dahoud 6, Bellingham 8; Reus 7, Knauff 5, Haaland 6. Subs: Reyna 6, Meunier 6, Delaney 6

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 06: Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund reacts during the Champions League match between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund at the Manchester City Football Academy on April 06, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom

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Key Moments

19’ GOAL – That was ruthless from City. A poor pass from Can in midfield gave the hosts a rare chance to run at Dortmund’s stretched defence, and they took full advantage, with a deep cross picking out Mahrez at the back post, who turned it back into the path of the onrushing De Bruyne to finish. Clinical. 1-0.
30’ – Can swings his boot high and catches the head of Rodri (at least that’s the referee’s judgement). We’ll see what VAR says about this… and indeed it is overruled.
38’ – Bellingham has the ball in the net after robbing possession off Ederson, but the referee blows up for a foul on the City keeper just before the ball crosses the line into an unguarded net. I’m not sure about that at all, very soft for me, but because the referee blew up it can't be looked at by VAR. A big let-off for City.
47’ – Haaland is played in and he simply barges Dias off the ball and only a decent save by Ederson denies him. The striker’s pace and power was on full show there.
65’ – That’s a golden chance for City! De Bruyne does brilliantly to turn his man and then pick out the perfect pull-back for Foden, only for the youngster to fire his shot straight at the keeper. That should have been the second goal.
84’ GOAL – That was class from Dortmund; one tidy pass around the corner from Bellingham was followed by a lovely assist from Haaland, and Reus was clinical with the finish, arrowed across the keeper and into the far bottom corner. That’s got them into a great position in the tie, all square and with an away goal too.
90’ GOAL – De Bruyne’s deep cross picked out Gundogan at the back post, and the former Dortmund man kept his cool to lay it off to Foden for the finish. That’s a big goal in the context of the tie.

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Stats and Facts

  • This was the first Champions League game this season that Erling Haaland failed to score in. He had found the net ten times in his six previous matches in the competition en-route to the quarter finals.
  • Reus ended a run of seven consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League from Manchester City, a run that has stretched for 788 minutes.
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