Dortmund 1-2 Man. City: City survive scare to go through
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Jude Bellingham's superb first-half strike was not enough as Man. City reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2015/16 with a classy comeback.
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Jude Bellingham became the youngest ever English goalscorer in a knockout tie, but City hit back through second-half goals by Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden to progress to a semi-final against Paris.
Match in brief
After a cagey opening quarter of an hour, Erling Haaland picked out his fellow prodigy inside the City area on the left, allowing Bellingham to shift the ball to his right before curling a wonderful goal into the far corner of Ederson's net.
Kevin De Bruyne then rattled the bar with a long-range strike before Dortmund's youngest ever marksman in this competition cleared off the line as City dominated the remainder of the first half.
On course to head out on away goals, City lifted themselves and went ahead in the tie through Mahrez's emphatic penalty after the interval. And their quarter-final turnaround was complete when Foden made it 4-2 on aggregate with a powerful long-range effort.
Player of the Match: İlkay Gündoğan (Man. City)
"He was the best player with ball possession, his reading of the game, and with or without the ball. He was the most pressed player, never losing the ball. He knows where his team-mates are located and always makes the right decisions.”
Steffen Freund, UEFA Technical Observer
Check out every official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match.
James Thorogood, Dortmund reporter
Dortmund are no strangers to shocking Europe's elite on Champions League nights, but in the context of a tumultuous season, such an exploit proved a step too far against Manchester City. They will rue costly mistakes from both legs, but can be proud of the account they gave of themselves in a tie where few felt they'd pose City as many problems as they did.
Simon Hart, Man. City reporter
At the fifth time of asking, Guardiola has got City into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. It wasn't wholly straightforward, given they trailed on away goals at half-time, yet they showed character to battle back and their response to adversity feels like a significant psychological hurdle overcome after three successive quarter-final exits. Considering City's struggles from the penalty spot this season, Mahrez warrants credit for stepping up to convert the equaliser while Foden’s second successive winner was another mark of his ever-growing importance. It's onwards and upwards for City.
Josep Guardiola, Man. City manager: "We're incredibly happy to be in the semi-finals – the best four teams in Europe. The way we played for the last 30 minutes of the first half and in the second half was brilliant. We showed personality, we passed the ball and we did it. It's incredible what we have done, and now we just have to recover, celebrate tonight, and after that we'll see what happens."
İlkay Gündoğan, Man. City midfielder: "I've said it before: on a good day they're able to beat anyone and, in the first half, they looked like it. But it's about staying in the game, it's about attitude, it's about personality – especially at this stage of the competition. We proved today that we're ready to fight in the semi-finals."
Jude Bellingham, Dortmund midfielder: “It’s a brilliant feeling to score my first Champions League goal, especially after having one ruled out last week. I’ll celebrate with my team-mates but I would have loved for my mum, dad and brothers to have been in the stands. For me it’s a nice personal moment, but winning is what counts and we didn’t do that tonight."
Marco Reus, Dortmund forward: "We stayed calm and did very well up to the penalty kick. City have a sensational positional game where they just let you chase. It's difficult to get the ball. City were better today and played smarter. You have to acknowledge that without envy."
• City boss Josep Guardiola reached his eighth UEFA Champions League semi-final as a coach, equalling José Mourinho's record.
• Man. City have won their last 16 away games – a club record – and are unbeaten in 19 away matches, drawing two.
• At 17 years and 289 days old, Bellingham is the youngest Englishman to score in a UEFA Champions League knockout game and the eighth-youngest player overall.
• Dortmund have scored in 40 successive matches in all competitions and in all 19 of their home games this season.
Dortmund: Hitz; Morey (Tigges 81), Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Bellingham (Brandt 81), Emre Can, Dahoud (T Hazard 76); Knauff (Reyna 68), Haaland, Reus
Man. City: Ederson; Walker, Stones, Rúben Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gündoğan; Mahrez (Sterling 88), Bernardo Silva, Foden
Dortmund face two Bundesliga home matches, against Werder Bremen (18 April) and Union Berlin (21 April), as they bid to cement fifth position and reduce fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt's seven-point advantage over them.
City are targeting an FA Cup final place against semi-final opponents Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, before aiming to resume winning ways at the top of the Premier League with a trip to Aston Villa (21 April). The UEFA Champions League semi-finals are scheduled for 27/28 April and 4/5 May.