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Three Observations from BVB’s Depressing Defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League

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So close, yet so far. Manchester City eliminated Borussia Dortmund from the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1: Leg Two Photo by Frederic Scheidemann/Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund were able to grab the goal they needed to advance early on in the contest, courtesy of Jude Bellingham, but they weren’t able to hold on, as they conceded two second-half goals to Manchester City. BVB’s Champions League run, though being a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season, is now over in the quarter-finals at the hands of the citizens.

Jude Bellingham’s curled effort in the 15th minute meant that Dortmund would go into the second half leading the tie on away goals. That changed, however, in the 55th minute when an Emre Can handball led to a penalty for City, which Riyad Mahrez dispatched into the top-right corner of Hitz’s net. Later in the 75th minute, a Phil Foden wonder-strike from just outside the box sealed the game at 2-1 in favor of Manchester City. An overall strong first-half performance just couldn’t be replicated in the second.

Bellingham’s Brilliance

There will be a lot of negativity after today’s result, but one person BVB fans can’t be upset with is Jude Bellingham. His first half performance was nothing short of spectacular, and though his efforts were ultimately in vain, for a brief moment, he had even the most cynical of Dortmund supporters believing. There will be a lot of chat over the coming summers about the likes of Haaland and Sancho being sold, but in terms of long-term results, Bellingham seems to be developing into a player that will be just as important for Dortmund to hold onto.

Borussia Dortmund v Manchester City - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final 1: Leg Two Photo by Friedemann Vogel - Pool/Getty Images

Another Mistake from Emre Can

Emre Can’s last few matches in the Champions League have been some of his most error-prone in a BVB shirt, and Wednesday was no exception. Ten minutes after halftime, the German midfielder headed the ball directly onto his arm, resulting in a penalty that Riyad Mahrez had no trouble dispatching. One can debate whether or not the action warranted a penalty, but Can’s poor header and awkward posture gave the referee a decision to make, and it ultimately went against the black and yellows.

Can is a player who has shown that he has a lot to offer Borussia Dortmund, but over the past two months, he has gone from a seemingly unflappable leader to Delaney’s backup. Simply put, if Can doesn’t recover from this slump, his time in Dortmund could quickly go the same way Julian Brandt’s has. It would be a shame if that were the case, but his form has been dipping for quite some time now. Hopefully, he can turn it around.

Goodbye Champion’s League?

With just six games remaining in the Bundesliga, and Borussia Dortmund seven points away from the top four, winning the Champions League this season seemed to be the club’s only hope for qualification. As unlikely as it may have been, Dortmund overcoming a seven-point gap in the league seems to be an even taller task. BVB will now have to win all of their remaining games and hope that Eintracht Frankfurt fall off a cliff for any hope of qualification. Hopefully, the announcement of Frankfurt’s manager Adi Hutter leaving will throw them off, but as things stand, this game against Manchester City may be Dortmund’s last Champions League clash for at least a year.

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