Erling Haaland came back to haunt his former club as Manchester City claimed a dramatic 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in Champions League Group G.
The Norwegian acrobatically volleyed home Joao Cancelo’s sublime cross six minutes from time after John Stones had cancelled out Jude Bellingham’s opener with a 25-yard blockbuster.
Ahead of kick-off, the stadium paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II with a moment’s silence.
Anthony Modeste’s tame effort was the only shot on target in the first half as the visitors nullified City’s famed attack with a well-executed game plan.
Dortmund grew in confidence following the restart and stole in front on 56 minutes when Bellingham flicked home Marco Reus’ volley.
City finally upped the ante in the latter stages with Haaland going close with a low shot from a tight angle that clipped the outside of the post.
However, Dortmund continued to defend well and looked set for an unlikely victory until a late show from Stones and Haaland saw the hosts score twice in four minutes.
The result means City top Group G with six points from two outings. Dortmund are second on three points with Copenhagen and Sevilla on a point apiece following their draw in Denmark.
Next up, Man City visit Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday while Dortmund host Schalke in the Ruhr derby.
Haaland is inevitable: For long spells the former Dortmund striker was anonymous. City hadn’t had a shot on target and the visitors looked like claiming a famous victory.
And yet… there was still the feeling that Haaland would have his say. Indeed, once the hosts had levelled it was almost written in the stars that he would get the winner.
It was a typically brilliant strike too and underlined once again why many believe he could be the difference for City this season in their continued pursuit of glory in this competition.
As for Dortmund, they will be heartbroken after a magnificent display for 75 minutes or so. Bellingham once again showcased his ability on the big stage and he did not look out of place going head-to-head with City’s star-studded midfield.
The big turning point for the visitors came when coach Edin Terzic opted to replace Modeste with Nico Schlotterbeck, altering the shape that had served them so well. It was a defensive move that truly backfired and undid what was otherwise looking like an effective game plan.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Joao Cancelo (Man City): The full back can so often be one of City’s creative inspirations and it was his magical pass that unlocked the BVB rearguard for Haaland to acrobatically net the winner.
MAN CITY: Ederson 7, Akanji 7, Ake 7, Stones 7, Cancelo 8, Rodri 6, Gundogan 6, De Bruyne 7, Grealish 6, Haaland 7, Mahrez 6. Subs: Alvarez 6, Bernardo Silva 6, Foden 6, Phillips n/a.
DORTMUND: Meyer 7, Meunier 7, Süle 7, Hummels 8, Guerreiro 7, Can 7, Özcan 7, Bellingham 8, Reus 7, Reyna 6, Modeste 7. Subs: Malen 6, Schlotterbeck 6, Adeyemi n/a, Moukoko n/a.
52’ – BORUSSIA DORTMUND CHANCE! Bellingham sets BVB free on the counter attack down the left flank. It’s then fed to Reus, who turns his marker in the box but flashes a shot on the stretch just wide of the far post.
56’ – GOAL! – Man City 0-1 Borussia Dortmund. Bellingham reacts fastest to nod home Reus’ volley from the far left of the area after City had only half cleared a right-wing corner.
66’ – MAN CITY CHANCE! Haaland finally springs into life as he spins into the right side of the area and flashes a low against the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
80’ – GOAL! – Man City 1-1 Borussia Dortmund. Stones is the unlikely hero as he rifles a swerving shot home from 25v yards out. Meyer didn’t seem to react fast enough.
84’ – GOAL! – Man City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund. It’s him! Haaland haunts his former club as volleys home Cancelo’s incredible cross from the left.