Man City win, yet their UCL dream is again at risk for reaching a conclusion at the quarterfinal stage
Manchester City are living hazardously in the Champions League by and by. Phil Foden's 90th-minute champ may have procured them a 2-1 quarterfinal first-leg triumph over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, however Pep Guardiola's group have left themselves helpless against one more early exit from the opposition they are so urgent to win.
This is Guardiola's fifth effort to convey Champions League greatness for City, and the previous Barcelona and Bayern Munich mentor has still to take the club past the last eight.
Foden's objective, which came six minutes after Marco Reus had leveled for Dortmund following Kevin De Bruyne's first-half opener, guarantees that City will venture out to Germany for the following week's second leg with a limited lead. Surprisingly, Foden's strike got City's first Champions League quarterfinal first-leg win in quite a while under Guardiola
Yet, having been killed by Monaco (round of 16), Liverpool, Tottenham, and Lyon since Guardiola assumed responsibility in 2016, City will confront Dortmund next Wednesday realizing that they have welcomed the Bundesliga side to deliver more quarterfinal wretchedness on them.
"It is smarter to win than draw," Guardiola said. "Two-one, Champions League, we are going there (Dortmund) to dominate the game."
This was a night when history gave indications of rehashing the same thing for City. Not without precedent for a round of this extent, Guardiola began with an unexpected XI, having left Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the substitutes' seat. It was just Foden's objective that saved Guardiola more prominent examination for his determination.
However, while City at last scratched the success, it is difficult to contend that they merited the triumph.
A lackluster showing by arbitrator Ovidiu Hategan was covered by the Romanian authority's choice to forbid an objective by Dortmund's Jude Bellingham on 37 minutes for a foul on City guardian Ederson.
Indeed, even continuously, it seemed a brutal choice, yet replays showed the young person to have won the ball neatly prior to scoring into a vacant net. However the objective was precluded and VAR (video aide official) was not permitted to address Hategan's slip-up, given the occasion happened fresh.
"Clearly my studs were up and they thought it was a foul," Bellingham said after the game.
That choice gave City a fortunate break, yet it likewise featured the peril presented by Dortmund and Bellingham, specifically. The 17-year-old, who has become an England worldwide since moving to Germany from Birmingham City the previous summer, was remarkable for Edin Terzic's group, creating a develop and controlled showcase in midfield.
Bellingham's pass to Erling Haaland, which the Norwegian at that point deftly proceeded onward to Reus, prompted Dortmund's late equalizer and showed the danger that Dortmund will convey in the home leg one week from now. It was an objective that exhibited Bellingham's ability and Haaland's mindfulness, just as Reus' suffering quality.
Haaland, connected with a late spring move to City, hushed up on his first visit to the Etihad, yet the pass to Reus was an illustration of his capacity, just like his one exertion on objective when he dominated and outmuscled Ruben Dias prior to testing Ederson with a low-determined shot.
However, while Dortmund met the challenge at hand, belying their new battles in Germany that have seen them slip to fifth in the Bundesliga table, City worked to their triumph. Maybe they permitted lack of concern to set in subsequent to being introduced as overpowering top picks to win the tie and set up an elimination round against either Paris Saint-Germain or ruling European bosses Bayern Munich.
City were moderate, lacking sharpness, and uncommonly indiscreet at the back. De Bruyne was an uncommon positive for Guardiola's group, who were surpassed and outflanked now and again by Dortmund.
However, while they eventually dominated the match, the 2-1 scoreline verifiably makes life hard for Guardiola's group one week from now in Dortmund. A 1-0 success for the home side will be sufficient to take them through to the semis, and with Haaland probably not going to be as tranquil in the subsequent leg, City will navigate a precarious situation at Signal Iduna Park. Furthermore, the apparitions of last season's sudden loss to Lyon will frequent City in front of a game they will, by and by, be relied upon to win.
On structure and on paper, City should go through one week from now. However, it is a Champions League quarterfinal, so the sky is the limit, as City have brutally learned lately.