Phil Foden’s last-minute strike gave Manchester City a crucial win in their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Marco Reus scored the equaliser for Borussia Dortmund in the 84th minute, which they deserved after a bright second half but that was not enough to secure the draw as England’s young star Phil Foden found the back of the net to take City over the line and give them a slender advantage going into the second leg in Dortmund.
Kevin de Bruyne gave the home team the lead in the 19th minute and played his part in setting up Phil Foden’s winner as well in the 90th minute as Ilkay Gundogan was picked out perfectly, only for the German to slide the ball back to an unmarked Foden to finish the job and secure the victory for Pep Guardiola’s side.
It was a bitter blow for a relentless and resolute Dortmund side, who will feel extremely hard done by as there was a massive blunder made by Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan who controversially ruled out Jude Bellingham’s goal with City leading 1-0.
Bellingham beat Ederson to a pass as the keeper failed to control the ball outside his box. Ederson then flung himself to the ground grimacing in pain, which saw the referee blow for a foul against the young Englishman who was racing towards an empty net.
It was clear that Bellingham played the ball and did not touch the Brazilian goalkeeper. In fact, it looked like it City’s goalkeeper who kicked the teenager. Unfortunately for the Germans, since the referee blew the whistle for the foul before the goal, VAR could not intervene to overrule the decision and give the goal.
Manchester City had a first-half penalty overturned by VAR, which was another blunder of a decision by the referee.
City may have been thinking their difficulties in Europe’s elite competition had returned, but they found a way as they keep their chances of winning the quadruple within touching distance.
This tie is not over by any means, not with Erling-Braut Haaland at the number 9 slot with Marco Reus behind him.
After the game, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, said: “Better to win than draw. We are going there to win the game. In the first half we were not clever with the ball. The second half was much better.
“Dortmund is a typical club from the Champions League. We have one more game there and with the result 2-1, we will try to score the goals there to win. We are going to analyse what we have to do like we have done for four or five months. Every game we play to win.”
Manchester City’s captain on the day, Kevin de Bruyne said, “They played really well with the ball. It causes some problems sometimes. I think in the first half we had a little bit of difficulty finding the chances but in the second half we created a few.
“We probably should have scored a little bit more but obviously when they came back to 1-1, that was a little shame but it happens. I think the reaction was really good so to get the win is good. We know 2-1 is a tricky score but at least we are ahead for the second leg.”
It is going to be difficult for Borussia Dortmund to turn things around in the second leg at the Westfalenstadion next week with the Yellow Wall empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic but they can take inspiration from their historic past of comebacks in Europe’s elite competition.
City, on the other hand, aim to reach their second-ever UEFA Champions League semifinal.