A 90th minute winner from Phil Foden was enough for Manchester City to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday. The game looked headed for a stalemate before Foden’s late winner ensured City take a narrow lead into the second leg. However, there will be a sense of what could have been running in the visitors’ minds. They looked likely to walk away with a well-deserved draw but were left ruing City’s superior individual quality. There was also a questionable refereeing call that saw a certain Dortmund goal ruled out in the first half.
It was Kevin de Bruyne who gave City the lead in the 19th minute; however, Dortmund didn’t back down after going behind.
Indeed, their collective play had the current Premier League leaders living on the edge. They looked to have equalised when teenage sensation Jude Bellingham pounced on an error from goalkeeper Edison and rolled the ball into an empty net.
However, the referee inexplicably blew the whistle for a foul. The decision drew sharp rebuke from Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, who was unavailable for the match due to an injury.
This Ref needs checking! 🤦🏽♂️
— Jadon Sancho (@Sanchooo10) April 6, 2021
Bellingham was not to be denied, however, and played a key role in Dortmund’s equaliser. His pass picked out Erling Haaland in space, who passed to Marco Reus to slot home a simple finish.
With six minutes remaining, the game seemed set for a stalemate. But a quality moment from De Bruyne tilted the scales ever so slightly in City’s favour.
His ball picked out Ilkay Gundogan’s far post run, who cushioned a cut-back for Foden to slot home.
City’s celebrations after Foden’s winner seemed tinged with relief. Indeed, Foden admitted that his own lack of clinical touch frustrated him all night.
“They are a young team full of energy and they counterattack really quick,” Foden said after the game. “I was frustrated all night. I had many chances to score and I kept going and in the end one paid off.”
Dortmund coach Edin Terzić took pride in the fact that the tie is still not over and that they managed to stand toe-to-toe with a team many expect to win the Champions League this year.
“They are the best side in the world at the moment. But we annoyed them a lot and we are still in the game.”