City into Champions League Semi-Final after superb comeback
City came from behind with a stunning second-half display to end the Champions League quarter-final jinx in style.
Trailing to an early Jude Bellingham strike, second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden secured a fully deserved 2-1 victory as we move into the last four of the competition for only the second time in our history.
Now, Paris St Germain and City will battle it out for a place in next month’s Champions League final.
The last thing City wanted was to concede an early goal and tilt the axis in Borussia Dortmund’s favour, but that’s exactly what happened when the Bundesliga side went ahead on 15 minutes.
When City failed to clear an early Dortmund attack, the ball eventually found its way to Jude Bellingham who arrowed a shot onto the top right-hand corner of the net, despite a commendable effort from Ederson.
It changed the whole complexion of the second leg, with Dortmund now ahead on the away goals rule.
Kevin De Bruyne was desperately unlucky on 28 minutes when he dispossessed Dortmund’s Ajanki on the edge of the box before thumping a powerful drive against the underside of the crossbar.
Though City didn’t completely dominate the remainder of the half, with a 61%-39% possession stat in our favour, it told the story of the half, though tellingly, there was just one shot on target.
The equation was very simple – City had to score or face elimination at the quarter-final stage for a fourth year in succession.
Seven minutes into the second-half and Dortmund’s resistance was finally broken when Phil Foden’s cross was handled by Emre Can in the box – the referee pointed to the spot and after a lengthy VAR review, the decision was upheld and Riyad Mahrez kept his nerve to strike the equaliser home confidently.
Now Dortmund needed to score to stay in the competition which meant changing their defensive mindset for the time that remained.
De Bruyne went close on 74 minutes, wriggling his way through a couple of challenges before seeing a low drive well saved by Hitz – but in the same passage of play, City got the goal that settled the tie.
From a corner on the right, Mahrez found Bernardo and the Portuguese spotted Foden free on the edge of the box and played it to feet and Foden did the rest, hitting a crisp low drive in off the foot of the right-hand post to put City 2-1 up on the night and 4-2 on aggregate.
The celebrations that followed were emotional and uplifting, as Foden raced to the bench to enjoy the moment with his team-mates and manager.
City had two or three chances to score more goals, but nobody was complaining - it was a case of job very well done.
WHAT IT MEANS…
City are in the Champions League semi-finals where Paris St Germain await.
The first leg, in France, will take place on Wednesday 28 April, with kick off at 20:00 (UK time).
And the return leg at the Etihad is scheduled for Tuesday 4 May at 20:00 (UK time).
City take on in-form Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Kick-off is 5.30pm on Saturday.
Borussia Dortmund (1): Hitz; Mateu Morey (Tigges, 81'), Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Bellingham (Brandt, 80'), Can, Dahoud (Thorgan Hazard, 75'); Knauff (Reyna, 68’), Haaland y Reus
Manchester City (2): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Rúben Dias, Zinchenko;
Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gündogan; Mahrez (Sterling, 88'),
De Bruyne y Foden
Goals: 1-0 Bellingham (15'), 1-1 Mahrez (pen.) (55'), 1-2 Foden (75')
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (España).