Manchester City has qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second time in club history on Wednesday. The English won 1-2 against Borussia Dortmund in Germany after an earlier 2-1 win in the home game.
Dortmund was virtually a semi-finalist for a long time after Jude Bellingham’s opening goal, but early in the second half, Riyad Mahrez took the equalizer from a penalty kick. Fifteen minutes before the end, Phil Foden gave the German team the final blow: 1-2.
City only reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2016, in which Real Madrid turned out to be too strong. Manager Pep Guardiola’s team has always been eliminated in the quarter-finals for the past three years.
At the end of April and the beginning of May, City will play in the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain. In the other semi-final, Chelsea will take on Real Madrid, which eliminated Liverpool on Wednesday.
City only woke up after a very young Bellingham goal
Dortmund started strongly in the home game and was already close to the opening goal via Mahmoud Dahoud, before Bellingham hit after fifteen minutes. The English top talent shot the ball through goalkeeper Ederson’s fingertips into the cross: 1-0.
At 17 years and 289 days, Bellingham became the second youngest ever goalscorer in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Only Bojan Krkic was 72 days younger in 2008 when he scored for FC Barcelona.
Once behind, City threw off the trepidation. The leader of the Premier League left a number of great opportunities unused before the break. Kevin De Bruyne hit the crossbar with a pin, Mahrez saw his bet be taken off the line by Bellingham and former PSV player Oleksandr Zinchenko hit goalkeeper Marwin Hitz with a header from close by.
City takes the game through Mahrez and Foden
City was also the better team in the opening phase of the second half, which resulted in the equalizer after ten minutes. Dortmund midfielder Emre Can received a ball through the head to his outstretched hand, after which Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro awarded a penalty. Mahrez scored with conviction from 11 meters.
After the 1-1 Dortmund had to look for a goal again, but striker Erling Haaland was hardly in the game. Defender Mats Hummels was closest to a new lead with a header just over the goal.
City played from the organization and lurked at his moments. De Bruyne stranded after a nice action on Hitz, but a little later it was hit. After a short corner kick, Foden was able to lash out, the twenty-year-old Englishman hit the short corner through the inside of the post.
After that second goal, Borussia faced the almost impossible task to score three goals. Faith had disappeared among the Germans, while City missed chances of a third hit.
That will be a concern for the English, as the Premier League leader is still in the race for the ‘quadruple’. The championship is almost in, the team will play against Tottenham Hotspur in the final of the League Cup and Chelsea will be the opponent in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Saturday.