Thursday, May 23, 2024

Borussia Dortmund 0-0 Manchester City: What Were The Main Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Side Clinch Top Spot In Group G?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 26 Oct 2022

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While neutrals would have been hoping for a lively affair on Tuesday night, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City eventually played out a toothless 0-0 stalemate in rural Germany.

However, although the Sky Blues might have now had to settle for back-to-back goalless draws while on Champions League duties, the reigning Premier League champions did wrap up top spot in Group G here.

With Riyad Mahrez once again enduring more frustration from 12 yards as the ex-Leicester man saw his spot-kick denied in the second-half, Pep Guardiola would have been somewhat frustrated by his side’s display.

However, held by a Dortmund side that showed plenty of resolve on Tuesday night, the German giants also did enough to clinch their own knockout stage ticket.

In a showdown that saw chances come at a real premium, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

Are City still the European favourites?

Although City might have been disappointed to have missed out on the chance for his side to lay down another European marker on Tuesday night, the former Barcelona boss would have been glad to see his superstars wrap up top spot in Group G with time to spare.

Left stunned in Madrid last season as they eventually crashed out in the semi-finals after a stunning 6-5 aggregate defeat against Los Blancos, the English giants are desperate to make real history this time around.

Watching the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus suffer their own shock Champions League defeats in midweek, many have tipped Guardiola’s side as a standout pick to claim their first European crown.

While City might have now had to settle for back-to-back stalemates against Copenhagen and BVB, Tuesday’s guests have cruised their way to the knockout stage without breaking much of a sweat.

Shipping just a single goal in any of their five Group G appearances this year, is this finally City’s year to end their European heartbreak?

A quiet return for Halland

While Manchester City might have managed to cruise their way to the knockout stage here, there is no doubt that a certain Erling Haaland would have been frustrated to not mark his German return with a flurry.

Making the move from Dortmund over the summer after Guardiola’s side triggered the 22-year-old’s £52.5million release clause, Haaland has only continued on a remarkable run of form.

Once again bagging a brace in City’s 3-1 victory against Brighton last weekend, the Norweigan superstar has already notched 22 goals across all competitions since arriving in England’s top-flight.

However, despite bagging the winner when BVB visited the Etihad on September 14th, Haaland endured a downbeat return to his former club on Tuesday night.

Marked out of the game by German international Max Hummels and failing to create a clear-cut chance, City’s latest attacking icon was also replaced at half-time – something that left many in the blue half of Manchester frustrated.

Nevertheless, taken off as a precaution here, Haaland will undoubtedly be looking to extend on his tally when City travel to Leicester on Saturday afternoon.

Real positives for Dortmund to build on

While Borussia Dortmund might have shown some extended inconsistencies since opening the 2022/23 campaign, the German giants should be boosted by a pair of gritty performances over the past few days.

Left heartbroken at the Etihad last month as they eventually fell to a late 2-1 defeat in Manchester, Edin Terzic’s men once again caused the Premier League champions a string of issues here.

Heading into Tuesday’s showdown after storming their way to a 5-0 romp at home against Stuttgart, the one-time West Ham coach has also seen his side keep a clean sheet in each of their previous three matchups across all formats.

More than deserving of their point here, Dortmund also managed to punch their knockout stage ticket with time to spare and the mood in their camp should be at a high.

Although Terzic’s side might still find themselves sat outside the Bundesliga’s top-four, BVB should taken plenty of positives away from another resilient performance in midweek.

Match Report:

Borussia Dortmund: Kobel, Sule, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Hazard, Adeyemi, Bellingham, Can, Brandt, Reyna, Moukoko

Subs: Wolf, Modeste, Malen, Papadopoulos

Manchester City: Ortega, Stones, Dias, Ake, Cancelo, Foden, Gundogan, Rodri, Mahrez, Alvarez, Haaland

Subs: Silva, Akanji, Grealish, Palmer

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Borussia Dortmund: Hummels – Manchester City: Akanji, Alvarez, Gundogan, Cancelo

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Davide Massa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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