Borussia Dortmund were dumped out of the Champions League quarterfinals by Manchester City with a 1-2 home loss on the evening, with City winning 4-2 on aggregate. It was a dream start for Die Schwarzgelben as Jude Bellingham scored a nice goal inside 15 minutes to give Dortmund the edge. Unfortunately, City were able to stay camped inside the BVB half, constantly applying pressure, which eventually became too much for the Ruhr giants to handle. A somewhat controversial handball by Emre Can gifted the visitors a penalty less than 10 minutes into the second half and Riyad Mahrez promptly dispatched it home. Phil Foden put the game beyond reach in the 75th minute with a well taken strike that beat goalkeeper Marwin Hitz near-post. Dortmund supporters can now focus their attention domestically as the top four race still leaves BVB a chance for next year’s competition, while a DFB-Pokal semifinal with Holsten Kiel kickstarts May.
The Foden goal was not Hitz’s finest hour, but he was pretty solid otherwise. He actually overperformed his post-shot expected goals, with a +0.4 for the game, suggesting he was better than average. Still, the Foden goal is hard to look past.
Being beaten near-post from outside the box is unacceptable, and this is not the first time this has happened.
I agree with Paul that he was solid outside of Foden’s goal, and was probably a net positive on the game, but him failing to protect his near post was the knife through the heart.
Like Akanji, Hummels had a decent chance on goal when his header off a free kick looped just over the bar and rolled off the top of the net. Defensively, he was very good.
He had a Grade-A chance off a corner kick. He sent a strong header towards goal, but unfortunately Ederson was perfectly positioned to stop it.
Struggled to get forward as he was stuck inside his own half. Guerreiro is great in the build-up but I would like to see him played further forward in big games like this.
Another 90 minutes of Morey struggling to cope with Foden and De Bruyne. Still not sure I really blame him, they’re both exceptional players.
Morey’s teammates didn’t make it easy for him. There were quite a few times that his teammates sent him lobbed passes that he had to bring down while being pressured.
Another rough night for Can. He misplaced a bunch of passes and gave away a decisive penalty. I’m still not entirely sure whether the referee’s call was technically correct or not, but I find it hard to complain about a call that looks very much like a handball and should have been a penalty in the spirit of the law. Either way, I’m sure Can will be pleased to see the back of City!
Can has really struggled in that single pivot in both matches against City. The false nine for City does not allow him time on the ball and Can is not the most composed in that role.
Regardless of whether the call was ultimately correct, Can’s hand should not have been there.
I thought Terzic should have taken Can off and let Dahoud play the deep role once Dortmund went behind, due to his superior passing, as a goal was desperately needed.
Lets just give him the captain’s armband and be done with it already. Jude is incredible.
After a few misplaced passes early on, Bellingham settled down and was box-to-box gold for Dortmund easily looking like the MOTM for BVB. As special as Bellingham is, it is not a good sign when your best player on the biggest occasion is only 17 years-old.
Struggled to really get into the game and was bullied off the ball by a back-tracking Phil Foden on more than one occasion
Having to dribble past Zinchenko, Ruben Dias, and John Stones is a lot more difficult than trying to dribble through Stuttgart’s defenders. This match showed that Knauff has a long way to go before he’s ready for the big show.
Haaland still has not scored since his father and agent went away on transfer trips. Perhaps the Norwegian is just a bit tired, but it will be worrying for Dortmund as they try and finish the season strong with an eye still on the top four and silverware.
Haaland’s best shot was from outside the box, and it sailed harmlessly into the empty Yellow Wall.
The loss was hard to take, because of the way it occurred, but not because the players really did anything wrong. There were one or two that made dumb mistakes (or in Can’s case, several dumb mistakes over the course of the two legs), but a great team like City forces those errors sometimes. It is what it is. I appreciated the effort they put in, and I think the players can be proud of their display.
It was always going to be difficult to beat a team that has so much quality and is well-coached, but if injuries and decisions went another way perhaps we might have had a better chance. Now the focus shifts into pulling out a miracle and qualifying for next year’s campaign.
This match made me very sad. It could easily be the final match that BVB play in the Champions League for almost 18 months. What made it worse was the hope. At the end of the first half, BVB only needed to survive 45 minutes to advance to the semifinals. It didn’t take long for Manchester City to score, though, and Dortmund never looked like they’d recover. I’m not looking forward to covering the Europa League every Thursday afternoon.