B Dortmund 0 – 0 Man City
Man City secured top spot in their Champions League group – despite another missed penalty from Riyad Mahrez – and Borussia Dortmund reached the last 16 after a 0-0 draw at Signal Iduna Park.
Although far from a European classic, both teams took away what they needed from the match with a game to spare, wrapping up proceedings in Group G.
Man City failed to have a shot on target in the first half – the second time that has happened in the Champions League this season, having also failed to do so against Dortmund in the reverse fixture – and the hosts should have gone ahead before the break, but Youssoufa Moukoko turned an effort wide from close range.
Erling Haaland and Joao Cancelo were replaced at half-time. The in-form striker was kept very quiet by former teammate Mats Hummels, while Cancelo was caught out one too many times by the impressive Karim Adeyemi.
Explaining his decision, Man City manager Pep Guardiola said both players had felt unwell before the game, telling BT Sport: “Erling had a little bit of fever before the game. Joao as well. He had a knock in his feet. He was looking tired, Joao, as well. So that’s why we changed it.”
When asked later about Haaland’s injury, the Spaniard said: “I spoke with (the medical staff) at half-time and they were a little bit concerned, but I saw him walking more or less normally. We will see.”
Mahrez’s missed penalty record
- Mahrez has missed 10 penalties for club and country in his career (scored 22).
- This was the second time he’s failed from the spot in the Champions League this season, after having one saved against Copenhagen.
- He has missed three of his last four penalties for City in all competitions, after scoring nine of his first 10 for them.
Man City had a golden chance to wrap up three points when Emre Can tripped Mahrez over inside the area, giving the visitors a stonewall penalty. However, the Algerian missed his second Champions League penalty of the season, seeing his effort well-saved by Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.
“Of course it’s a problem,” Guardiola told BT Sport of the miss. “Since I was here we missed 24 or 25 penalties, most of them in Champions League, it’s too much.
“I always admire the courage, the responsibility to do it. But we miss a lot of penalties. We have to improve. The little details and margins in this competition is the key, the difference.
“Riyad scored a lot in big important moments, here [in 2021 Champions League quarter-finals]. If he feels it next time, he is going to take it. But we have to improve.”
However, a point was enough for both sides, who both go into the hat for the last 16 draw on Monday, November 7.
How Man City topped Group G
The first half lacked the kind of intensity that rippled through the iconic Signal Iduna Park stands, but Dortmund had the best chances. In the 16th minute, Karim Adeyemi made one of his multiple drives into the area, but his shot went straight at Man City debutant Stefan Ortega Moreno.
The goalkeeper was there again soon after as Giovanni Reyna found his gloves too. It was a neat give and go between Adeyemi and Jude Bellingham in midfield, with the former again striding into the box. He held the ball up well, eventually rolling it into the feet of Giovanni Reyna, but his shot was tame.
Dortmund should have taken the lead in the 36th minute. Adeyemi fired in a cross from the right with Moukoko there to collect. However, with only the goalkeeper to beat, he fired the ball well past the post from mere yards out, putting his head in his hands straight after.
- Man City made six changes. Ederson was replaced by Stefan Ortega Moreno, who made his Man City debut after signing for the club in the summer. Manuel Akanji, Aymeric Laporte, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish also dropped to the bench.
- Alongside the goalkeeper, John Stones returned to action for the first time in almost a month, with Nathan Ake, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez also coming in. Erling Haaland kept his spot in the side, returning to Dortmund for the first time since his summer exit.
- Borussia Dortmund made just two changes. Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck were fit enough to start after picking up knocks at the weekend, but Raphael Guerreiro did not make the XI. Salih Ozcan was also suspended. Thorgan Hazard and Emre Can came into the XI.
A poor Rodri shot from range was the pick of Man City’s chances up until the one minute of added injury time. Nathan Ake fired a bullet header over the bar from Phil Foden’s fizzing free-kick, although City ended the half without any shots on target.
At half-time, Pep Guardiola introduced Bernardo Silva and another former Dortmund player in Manuel Akanjil for Haaland and Cancelo as he looked to inject some life into his City team.
Dortmund had a few half openings early on – Ortega again in good form to collect anything coming his way – but the saved penalty just before the hour seemed to galvanise Man City as they started to create some clear openings.
John Stones slotted Ilkay Gundogan in down the right of the area, but his shot on a tricky angle was well-saved by Kobel. Then, Julian Alvarez let fly with a superb first-time strike after a neat set-up from Mahrez, but saw his effort saved.
Man City’s play did improve as the second half continued, but neither side were really able to create a clear-cut opening with plenty of players caught offside too. However, it was job done for both City and Borussia Dortmund ahead of the final group games next week.
Man of the match – Karim Adeyemi
An impressive match from the 20-year-old, who consistently caught Cancelo out in behind in the first half, so much so that the full-back was taken off at half-time. Ake was sent over to deal with him and did a far better job, with Adeyemi far less effective in the second period.
But he still created the most chances of any player in the match (4), a joint-high five touches in the opposition box and two shots.
Man City: Ortega Moreno (7), Stones (7), Dias (7), Ake (7), Cancelo (5), Mahrez (6), Rodri (6), Gundogan (7), Foden (6), Alvarez (6), Haaland (5).
Subs used: Silva (7), Akanji (6), Grealish (n/a), Palmer (n/a).
Borussia Dortmund: Kobel (7), Sule (6), Hummels (8), Schlotterbeck (7), Adeyemi (8), Bellingham (7), Can (6), Reyna (7), Brandt (7), Hazard (6), Moukoko (6).
Subs used: Malen (6), Wolf (n/a), Modeste (n/a), Papadopoulos (n/a).
Man of the match: Karein Adeyemi.
Guardiola: We’re tired but achieved what we wanted to
Man City manager Pep Guardiola on BT Sport:
“We played much better second half than in the first half. We conceded some counter-attacks from them, they’re so fast. We suffered that our game on Saturday was so demanding, physicality and the trip and everything. We are a little tired.
“But we achieved what we wanted, top of the group again, so really good.”
Bellingham: We could have gone for it a bit more
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham to BT Sport:
“It is good for us on that side of the game, defensively we were really good and not many sides keep clean sheets against City with the quality they have got.
“To do that is a positive aspect, but I think we could have gone for it a bit more, we had some chances to win the game.
“But we have to grateful in the end because they missed a penalty and Greg (Kobel) made a huge save. Overall we’re happy because we were here to get to the next round and we’ve done it.”
“It is nice to keep all of them City players out, but especially him [Haaland] because we know how dangerous he is. I said to him ‘it’s 1-1 between us now,’ but I’m not too satisfied because I haven’t scored tonight either.
“But ultimately we’re happy because we got the draw and we can continue our journey.”
England World Cup watch
Two of England’s brightest prospects both played on Tuesday evening in Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham.
Of course, neither player was involved in goals, but Bellingham was the busier of the two and impressed in midfield – although that is becoming his standard at only 19 years old. His passing and distribution was solid and he helped spark a number of Dortmund’s promising attacks, especially in the first half.
Foden played 81 minutes – when he was replaced by fellow England hopeful, Jack Grealish – and had a few flashes of quality, although not enough to fully affect the game.
John Stones also made his return to the pitch for the first time since England’s 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley on September 26. He looked assured at the back, almost as if he had never been away and even stepped into a defensive midfield role as Guardiola tweaked his side at half time.
He did well in the position too – giving both Guardiola and Gareth Southgate another potential option if needed – but Stones will mostly be pleased to have a full 90 minutes heading into a crucial month.
Opta stats – Dortmund end runs of defeats against City
- Borussia Dortmund ended a run of three consecutive defeats against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League, since a 1-0 victory in December 2012.
- Manchester City are unbeaten in 16 of their last 17 UEFA Champions League games against German opponents (W14 D2 L1), only losing to RB Leipzig in this run (2-1 in December 2021).
- Manchester City have failed to score in consecutive UEFA Champions League games for just the second time, last doing so against Real Madrid in the semi-finals in 2015-16.
Man City are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they travel to Leicester; kick-off 12.30pm. Their final Champions League group stage fixture is against Sevilla at the Etihad on Wednesday, November 2.
Borussia Dortmund also play on Saturday in the Bundesliga, travelling to Eintracht Frankfurt, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm. They will then travel to Copenhagen next Wednesday in the Champions League.