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Man City win, but their UCL dream is again in danger of coming to an end at the quarterfinal stage

Man City Win, But Their UCL Dream is Again in Danger of Coming to An End at The Quarterfinal Stage

Manchester City lives dangerously in the Champions League again. Phil Foden’s 90th-minute winner may have earned them a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, but Pep Guardiola’s side left themselves vulnerable to yet another early exit from the competition that she is so desperate to win.
This is Guardiola’s fifth attempt to deliver Champions League glory to City, and the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach have yet to take the club past the last eight.
Foden’s goal, which came six minutes after Marco Reus equalized for Dortmund after Kevin De Bruyne’s opener in the first half, ensures City will travel to Germany for next week’s second leg with a lead narrow. Remarkably, Foden’s strike secured City’s first Champions League quarter-final first leg victory in four tries under Guardiola.
But after being eliminated by Monaco (round of 16), Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon since Guardiola took control in 2016, City will face Dortmund next Wednesday knowing that they have left the door open for the Bundesliga team for their inflict more misery in the quarterfinals.
Man City need Haaland or Kane to get even better.
“It’s better to win than to draw,” Guardiola said.
“Two on one, Champions League, we are going (Dortmund) to win the game.”
It was a night where history showed signs of repeating itself for City. Not for the first time in a game of this magnitude, Guardiola started with a surprise XI, having left Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the substitute bench. It was only Foden’s goal that spared Guardiola more scrutiny of his selection.
But while City ultimately took the win, it’s hard to say they deserved the win.
A poor performance from referee Ovidiu Hategan was capped by the Romanian official’s decision to deny a goal from Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham in the 37th minute for a foul on city keeper Ederson.
Even in real time, the decision seemed difficult, but reruns showed the teenager won the ball cleanly before scoring into an empty net. Still, the goal was ruled out and the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) was not allowed to correct Hategan’s error, as the event took place off the beaten track.
“Apparently my studs were on and they thought it was a foul,” Bellingham said after the game.
The move gave City a lucky escape, but it also highlighted the danger posed by Dortmund and Bellingham, in particular.
The 17-year-old, who has become an England international since moving to Germany from Birmingham City last summer, has been exceptional for Edin Terzic’s side, producing a mature and controlled display in the midfield.
Bellingham’s pass to Erling Haaland, which the Norwegian then skillfully passed on to Reus, led to Dortmund’s late equalizer and showed the threat Dortmund will carry at home next week. It was a goal that showcased Bellingham’s talent and Haaland’s notoriety, as well as the enduring quality of Reus.
Haaland, linked with a summer move to City, was calm on his first visit to the Etihad, but the pass to Reus was an example of his ability, as was his only effort on goal when he edged out and passed Ruben Dias forward to test Ederson with a low shot.
But as Dortmund rose to the occasion, denying their recent fights in Germany which saw them slide to fifth in the Bundesliga table, City worked for their victory.
Perhaps they let complacency set in after being installed as overwhelming favorites to win the draw and stage a semi-final against either Paris Saint-Germain or reigning European champions Bayern Munich.
The life it was slow, lacking in sharpness and an unusual carelessness in the rear. De Bruyne was a rare asset for Guardiola’s side, which were sometimes left behind and dominated by Dortmund.
But while they have finally won the game, the 2-1 score undoubtedly makes life difficult for Guardiola’s side next week in Dortmund. A 1-0 win for the home side will be enough to lead them to the semi-finals, and Haaland not expected to be so calm in the second leg, City will walk a tightrope at Signal Iduna Park. And the ghosts of last season’s unexpected loss to Lyon will haunt City ahead of a game they should, once again, win.
On form and on paper, City should spend next week. But it’s a Champions League quarter-final so anything is possible, as City have learned the hard way in recent years.

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