Man City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund: Erling Haaland late goal gives Pep’s comeback lead

todaySeptember 15, 2022

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Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland’s outrageous finish against his former club completed a dramatic turnaround as Manchester City beat Dortmund 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Pep Guardiola’s side had looked to be heading for Champions League defeat when Jude Bellingham headed Dortmund in front early in the second half but John Stones levelled it late on from distance before Haaland had the final say with his cushioned volley.

Man City had been below par for much of the match – Stones’ shot in the 80th minute was their first on target all evening – but with Haaland in the team there is always that threat. The victory keeps them top of Group G with maximum points from their two matches.

The game opened up once Guardiola sent for his substitutes – Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva all being introduced – and suddenly Haaland was in the game. Nevertheless, Guardiola will be desperately disappointed by the lack of energy before that.

Falling behind in front of their own fans has become an unwelcome habit for City, having famously extricated themselves from difficulty here against Aston Villa on the final day of last season and again more recently versus Crystal Palace.

Haaland scores his side’s second goal against Borussia Dortmund

Haaland’s finish was reminiscent of a famous Johan Cruyff goal for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in 1973 – labelled the impossible goal as he rose to volley the ball in at the far post. More modern audiences might be reminded of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

What is certain is that there are very few players in the game’s history capable of the moments that this young man continues to produce. Borussia Dortmund were once the beneficiaries of this extraordinary talent. On this night, they were the victims of it.

Haaland now has 13 goals in his last eight games for Manchester City. It is a freakish return and yet such is his brilliance one wonders whether such a high output might be sustainable. Not quite like this, perhaps, but City are not even finding him as they can right now.

This was an unconvincing performance by the team in which he was starved of service throughout. But when the ball did reach him he looked astonishingly sharp, turning away from trouble, finding the openings for others. When City click, he could really have fun.

For now, it is enough. Dortmund did well. City struggled. Yet, as the supporters strode away from the stadium, it was the stunning denouement that will have been freshest in their mind. A hint of Cruyff, shades of Zlatan. But only one Erling Haaland.


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