Late goals from John Stones and Erling Haaland in the space of four minutes rescued Manchester City from the jaws of defeat against Borussia Dortmund, with a 2-1 victory extending their unbeaten run at home in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) to 21 matches.
Perhaps an unplanned hiatus to the Premier League came at a bad time for Manchester City, who lacked rhythm and were limited to half chances by a well-drilled Dortmund side throughout the first half, with only four attempts on goal, all off target.
Pep Guardiola, taking charge of his 150th UCL match, becoming only the fifth manager to reach that milestone – cut a frustrated figure on the touchline. In the 56th minute, Jude Bellingham opened the scoring. Reworking a cleared corner, Marco Reus fired the ball back into the area where the Englishman reacted quickest, sneaking in between Manuel Akanji and Haaland, to head beyond Ederson.
This was a wake-up call for the hosts, though as the final 10 minutes approached, they still had not managed a shot on target. However, as they have done twice already this season, Guardiola’s men showed their resilience to come from behind and snatch the three points.
Up stepped Stones to fire in a 79th-minute equaliser from outside the box into the top right corner, and four minutes later, Haaland had completed the turnaround, bagging an acrobatic volley from João Cancelo’s audacious outside-of-the-boot cross.
With both winning their opening Group G fixture, at least one was always going to lose their 100% record. City move clear at the top with six points, whilst Edin Terzić’s men remain in second, still on three points.
Meanwhile, Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by RB Salzburg at Stamford Bridge; Raheem Sterling had given the blues the lead immediately after the break.
Newly-appointed Graham Potter, in his first game in charge of the blues at home, was denied all three points and a victory on his debut for Chelsea when Noah Okafor scored in the 75th minute to force a 1-1 draw.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu