Manchester City will take a narrow lead to Germany after emerging with a 2-1 win from their hard-fought first-leg encounter against Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad.
The game started brightly for Pep Guardiola’s side, and they took an early lead when Emre Can’s misplaced pass in midfield was ruthlessly punished, with Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez combining to tee up Kevin de Bruyne to slot home.
And it looked as if another Can error had gifted City a second golden opportunity just minutes later, only for the referee and VAR to scratch out a penalty decision for a non-existent high boot.
Dortmund felt they should have had an equaliser shortly before the break when Jude Bellingham nipped in to dispossess Ederson and tuck home into an empty net, only for the ref to blow up for a harsh foul before the ball had crossed the line – with the timing of the whistle meaning that VAR was unable to get involved.
The largely uninvolved Erling Haaland showed his class with a brilliant effort shortly after the break, with only the feet of Ederson denying him an equaliser. And City also went close in the second half, with the excellent Foden testing the goalkeeper on a couple of occasions.
Dortmund never looked out of the game, and the visitors got the away goal that their performance merited on 84 minutes. Jude Bellingham and Haaland combined cleverly to work Reus into space inside the City box, and the captain made no mistake with his effort, drilling a fine shot across the keeper and into the far bottom corner.
But, just when it looked like the German visitors had secured a draw, up stepped De Bruyne to whip in a brilliant cross towards the back post, and Ilkay Gundogan teed it up for Foden to slot home and give City a narrow advantage in the tie.
The teams don’t have to wait long for the second leg, with the return meeting scheduled for Wednesday 14 April.