Man City shake off quarterfinal jinx to reach Champions semis

Sports Desk, Apr 14 (EFE).- Manchester City topped Borussia Dortmund 1-2 on Wednesday in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal to win 4-2 on aggregate and advance to the last four for only the second time in their history and the first time since Pep Guardiola took the helm.

Guardiola, who hoisted the Champions League twice as coach of Barcelona, guided Bayern Munich to the semifinals in each of his four seasons with the German club only to be eliminated on all four of those occasions.

And while he is just weeks away from winning the Premier League with City for the third time in four years, the side has crashed out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals for three years running.

City started Wednesday’s match leading 2-1 after the first leg in Manchester and the Premier League champions in waiting were the clear favorites.

But a Dortmund side featuring Europe’s best young striker, Erling Haaland, are not to be taken lightly.

The hosts created the first chance, a shot from distance by Mahmoud Dahoud in the 7th minute that City goalkeeper Ederson had to stop.

But Ederson was unable to stop Jude Bellingham in the 15th, allowing the English teenager to level the tie at 2-2 with an edge for Dortmund thanks to their away goal in the first leg.

Marco Reus came close to putting Dortmund ahead in the 18th minute and Manuel Akanji had a free header on the ensuing corner, but it was an easy save for Ederson.

City’s Kevin de Bruyne hit the cross-bar in the 26th minute after a takeaway in midfield. Riyad Mahrez had Dortmund keeper Marwin Hitz beat six minutes later only for Bellingham to make the stop on the goal-line.

Hitz denied Oleksandr Zinchenko in the 38th minute and Dortmund reached the break without conceding.

The visitors continued to press in the second half and their exertions were rewarded in the 52nd minute with a penalty for Emre Can’s inadvertent hand ball in the box.

Mahrez stepped to the spot and converted to restore the one-goal advantage for City.

Haaland saw a shot blocked by the City back line at the hour mark and teammate Mats Hummels headed over the cross-bar with 20 minutes left.

Hitz did well to thwart De Bruyne in the 74th minute, but was helpless a minute later as a Phil Foden blast careened off the post into the back of the net to put City up 4-2 overall with two away goals.

Dortmund failed to put a single shot on target in the final stretch, while Zinchenko nearly made it 5-2 with a shot from distance that caused problems for Hitz.

City’s next challenge will be Paris Saint-Germain, the 2020 runners-up, who eliminated holders Bayern Munich. EFE


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