Man City vs Borussia Dortmund: Champions League report and highlights: Erling Haaland scores the acrobatic winner

With six minutes to go, it looked like this first-ever Borussia Dortmund-Erling Haaland reunion might answer the question that all of European football is currently asking itself. Maybe he can be stopped. Maybe he’s human after all. Perhaps all it takes is a deep, intimate knowledge of his strengths and weaknesses, developed over the course of two years, to keep him from scoring goals by training and playing every day. It turns out that’s not enough.

At some point this extraordinary series of ratings will end. At some point his goal record will easily fall back to earth. For now, however, suffice it to say that Haaland’s 13th goal in eight games completed another comeback from Manchester City to bolster their position in Group G and move one step closer to progressing to the knockout rounds of the Champions League bring.

The finish itself was remarkable – his left foot stretching out like a kung fu kick to meet a Joao Cancelo cross from deep – and smacked the ball past Dortmund goalkeeper Alexander Meyer from a tight angle. Up to this point it seemed unlikely that he would punish his former club. He had barely had a clear view of the gate all night. But if he’s proven anything in these formative seasons in the Bundesliga, it’s that he only needs one.

Dortmund suffered from a monster of their own creation. It wasn’t quite deserved. Jude Bellingham’s header appeared to give Edin Terzic’s side a famous win justified by their organized defense, but just 10 minutes from time their resolve was shattered by a thunderclap from – of all people – John Stones. city ​​rallied. met Haaland. This night would eventually follow the script.

Plenty of sides come to the Etihad and set out to make the first half a total non-event, but few succeed. Dortmund were. On the eve of that game, Edin Terzic avoided providing specific answers to questions about the Haaland fight, instead focusing on how his players would stop City as a team. They succeeded by following the game plan he had already devised: compact, disciplined defense that limited the spaces Guardiola’s side normally exploit and careful use of possession.

Terzic predicted that Dortmund would only have 20 percent possession. They finished the half with nearly double, carefully holding and recycling in their own half, successfully avoiding and even hitting City’s press. That meant precious little went the other way, but at the break Dortmund’s only shot on target came: a close Salih Ozcan shot from a Bellingham-initiated movement, which was easily saved by Ederson.

Erling Haaland returned to haunt his old club

(Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)

His opposite number in the Dortmund goal went unchecked, despite the anticipation every time the ball was near a specific player. Haaland was almost connected with a Riyad Mahrez cross after 15 minutes but was headed by Niklas Sule, the only player on the pitch as tall and as wide as the Norwegian. Apart from that, Cancelo fired over from long range and Jack Grealish had blocked two shots in quick succession.

Guardiola insisted this was a rested side rather than a weakened one having made four changes since beating Sevilla last week, but the fact that there were several players who lacked form or confidence was starting to say . Marco Reus should have given Dortmund the lead early in the second half when he broke through the right side of City’s defense far too easily and fired into the far corner instead of shooting over and on target.

But just as Guardiola was preparing a triple change to rouse City from its slumber, Dortmund struck. A corner from Gio Reyna from the right was played by Ozcan and landed to the right edge of the box where Reus waited to send the ball back. Bellingham was one step ahead of his former teammates Haaland and Manuel Akanji, edging between the two to connect with a header Ederson hadn’t anticipated.

Jude Bellingham surprisingly gave Dortmund the lead

(REUTERS)

As Bellingham celebrated in front of the traveling support, that treble move was accelerated. Julian Alvarez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden all came on at once, which even at five substitutions felt like a sign of Guardiola’s growing frustration. Having spent most of the first half in the dugout, he now sat almost constantly on the edge of his technical range, often going beyond its limits to explain how a particular passing sequence should have been played.

All for free. None of City’s usual patterns and combinations worked. Sometimes you just have to hit it. That’s exactly what Stones did, at least, collecting a square pass from an otherwise calm Kevin De Bruyne and shooting at will. Alexander Meyer was less trying to save it and more a sort of muscle spasm, flailing wildly with his arms as it passed him on the way in.

The atmosphere of anticipation from earlier in the night was suddenly restored. It was recognized four minutes later when Haaland stuck out a long leg to hit Cancelo’s long post cross.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/manchester-city-borussia-dortmund-result-haaland-champions-league-b2167474.html Man City vs Borussia Dortmund: Champions League report and highlights: Erling Haaland scores the acrobatic winner

Fry Electronics Team

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