Man City make Real Madrid-like statement in dramatic win

On what was Pep Guardiola’s 150thChampions League game, the City boss had to watch his put in one of their worst performances to date, struggling to create anything going forward against a somewhat uncharacteristically organised Dortmund team.

After almost an hour of little incident, Jude Bellingham opened the scoring with a wonderfully instinctive header, pouncing on a fizzing cross from Marco Reus first as City were caught napping after a corner only half-cleared.

From there, City huffed and puffed, failing to find the target with any of the incisive passes Guardiola’s team have built their legacy on. Where the Premier League champions usually methodically take teams apart, they instead had to rely on individual brilliance.

And so it came.

The returning John Stones first produced his own Vincent Kompany moment by unleashing a 25-yard piledriver to level the scores with ten minutes remaining before Erling Haaland had his say. The former Dortmund striker was the willing recipient of a breath-taking Joao Cancelo cross, forcing an acrobatic finish over the line.

Having been on the end of a similar result against Real Madrid in last season’s semi-finals, perhaps this City team are learning to win ugly on the European stage. A terrifying prospect for those challenging them.

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