We were treated to another night of drama in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday as Manchester City edged past Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final tie. They’ll be taking a narrow lead into next week’s reverse fixture but in terms of what happened at the Etihad, there was a whole lot to process.
Foden beats Haaland
Erling Haaland was able to showcase glimpses of his brilliance last night but when push came to shove, he wasn’t able to put the ball in the back of the net. Sure, Borussia Dortmund still managed to get on the scoresheet, but Haaland couldn’t quite produce the goods when it mattered the most – but Phil Foden did. Foden has been flying under the radar as one of the most exciting players in world football for a while now and if there was ever going to be proof of that, scoring a last minute winner in a Champions League quarter-final is a good place to start.
Dortmund’s VAR frustration
When the score was 1-0 City, a moment of controversy cast a shadow over the game when Jude Bellingham wasn’t given the chance to equalise for Dortmund after a bizarre decision in which VAR wasn’t allowed to intervene. It helps to retrigger the conversation about where VAR in football is going but beyond that, it’s also harsh on Borussia Dortmund. They worked incredibly hard to get back into the game and now, they’ll head into the second leg knowing they need to score if they’re to have any chance of progressing.
The rise of Manchester City
As of this writing, Manchester City are the favourites to win the UEFA Champions League with odds of 7/4 with Betfair. This wasn’t the most convincing win in the world by any stretch but now, they are just three games away from playing in the European Cup final for the first time in their history. Pep Guardiola will make sure his players know the risk associated with being too forward-thinking in the second leg as this team continues their pursuit of what would be an unprecedented quadruple success this season.
Manchester City: Ederson (7), Cancelo (7.5), Dias (7), Stones (6.5), Walker (6), Gundogan (7), Rodrigo (6.5), Foden (8.5), De Bruyne (8), Mahrez (8), Silva (6.5), Jesus (6.5)
Borussia Dortmund: Hitz (6.5), Morey (6), Akanji (6), Hummels (6.5), Guerreiro (6), Bellingham (6.5), Can (6), Dahoud (6.5), Knauff (6.5), Haaland (8), Reus (7.5), Reyna (6), Delaney (6), Meunier (6.5)
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan
Goals: De Bruyne, Foden :: Reus
Yellow Cards: Bellingham, Can
Red Cards: N/A
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