Manchester City didn’t have it all their own way in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Despite so often strolling past opposition at this point of the tournament, the Premier League champions were forced to dig deep when Borussia Dortmund made the trip to the Etihad Stadium.
That’s because the Citizens found themselves trailing 1-0 with 10 minutes to go after Jude Bellingham opened the scoring in the second-half with a glancing header.
Man City vs Borussia Dortmund
And considering that the visitors had been unlucky not to break the deadlock earlier in the game courtesy of Marco Reus, it’s fair to say that it was nothing less than they deserved.
However, this is a Pep Guardiola side we’re talking about here, so we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that they gritted their teeth and never gave up despite the clock ticking away.
And despite so much of their footballing philosophy revolving around slow and methodical team play, it was moments of individual brilliance that saw them turn things around in Manchester.
First, a stunning strike from John Stones levelled the scores as the England centre-back picked up the ball outside of the penalty area and unleashed a shot with so much venom that it almost took the net off.
There were rightly questions asked about Alexander Meyer’s goalkeeping, but fans couldn’t help joking that he just had to take his hand away for just how vicious the strike really was.
Video: John Stones’ thunderbolt equaliser vs Dortmund
JOHN STONES OMFG pic.twitter.com/DvhwgTa9cW— ⚡️🇧🇼 (@Priceless_Silva) September 14, 2022
However, the drama didn’t end there because Erling Haaland continued his truly astonishing start to life in England by scoring yet another goal to complete the turnaround.
And it was arguably the best finish that he’s produced in sky blue so far as he showed remarkable agility and acrobatics to turn Joao Cancelo’s gorgeous cross into the back of the net.
Video: Erling Haaland’s acrobatic winner for Man City
That cancelo pass 😯
What a goal by haaland as well
pic.twitter.com/yJKdbAYyrn— Lake💨 (@_messiclear) September 14, 2022
HAALAND SAVED US TONIGHT WITH ANOTHER GREAT GOAL…— Chrismajorbanks (@chrismajorbanks) September 14, 2022
Man City For Life. pic.twitter.com/2QJc7lZyG3
He’s just inevitable, isn’t he?
A terrifying prospect for Europe
Everybody knew from Haaland’s time at Dortmund that he was a goalscoring machine, but seeing him thrive in such a world-class team is a scary prospect of the likes we’ve not seen in years.
In rising up to score an astonishing winner that showcases his athleticism better than ever, the 22-year-old advanced his record for Guardiola’s side to a dizzying 13 goals in just nine games.
And with three goals from two Champions League appearances amongst those finishes, then this year could well be the year that ‘Big Ears’ finally takes up residence at the Etihad.
Besides, it’s so often been the case that City have crashed out of Europe because their style of football which is so effective across an entire league season simply hasn’t been able to save them when times get tough in knockout football.
But now they have that walking, talking Get Out of Jail Free card in Mr. Haaland, then there really is no hope for anyone on the continent. Just ask Dortmund.