El Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund (2-1) … but did not convince. The result was much better than the game played by Pep Guardiola’s pupils. Phil Foden’s agonizing goal (90 ‘) on the horn brings the’ sky blues’ closer to the semifinals … but playing like this, the Champions are not won.
There is a lot of talk about Haaland and Mbapp, but … how much is De Bruyne worth? The Belgian is qualitatively the best creative midfielder in the Premier League and possibly Europe. It does everything and everything right. He showed it at 1-0. She launched the counter, accompanied her and appeared from the second row to beat Hitz. He was also key at 2-1. His was the pass to the back of the defense that Meunier ‘ate’ and that ended in the transfer of Gndogan for the goal of Fonde. ‘Tintin’ has been unstoppable since he returned from his last injury: he has participated in 13 goals – he has scored four and assisted again – in the last 12 games.
The City dominates the Premier with an ‘iron hand’, but something happens to him in Europe. Reus’s goal in the 84th minute put him back on the ropes. Luckily for the ‘Pep Team’ Foden appeared to bring the ‘sky blues’ closer to their second semifinals in the Champions League. The only time he reached them was with Pellegrini in 2015-16. With Guardiola, for now, he has not reached the semis. In the second round of 2017 he fell with Monaco and then was eliminated by Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon in the quarterfinals of 2018, 2019 and 2020. A whole ‘X-Files’.
Ovidiu Hategan. The Romanian referee made a huge mistake which, in view of the meager result, could be decisive in the Knockout. He rushed when, at 37 ‘, Jude Bellingham was about to score at an empty goal. The Dortmund midfielder had stolen Ederson’s ball and wallet. There could have been dangerous play, yes, but the feeling remains that the referee should have stopped playing and then review the play in the VAR. The action, to say the least, was borderline.
Erling Haaland was about to become the first player in Champions League history to score two or more goals in four consecutive games. The spotlights pointed out to him. The game against City was special for him. His father, Alf-Inge, played there between 2000 and 2003. In addition, Guardiola has him on his schedule to relieve Agero. Haaland did not play his best game. He lacked the momentum and the ‘fang’ that he has left over on other occasions. In 48 ‘he showed all his power, leaving Rben Dias, the best center-back in the 2020-21 Premier, on the ground, but Ederson won the game heads-up. This time, instead of ‘killer’, he dressed as ‘dandy’. In 84 ‘he gave Reus a great pass to score the momentary 1-1.
City were far from their attack version. He seemed more focused on leaving his goalkeeper to zero. ‘This is how they also win Champions’, Guardiola must have thought. In fact, the ‘sky blues’ had only conceded one goal in Europe this season. It was on the first match day of the group stage against Porto (3-1). Since then they have accumulated 790 minutes with the goalkeeper to zero. Meanwhile, they had scored 18 goals !, but Reus appeared to break the streak and leave the tie open for the second leg.