MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Erling Haaland grabbed an outrageous 84th-minute winner against his former club Borussia Dortmund as Manchester City came from behind with two late goals to seal a 2-1 win in Champions League Group G on Wednesday.
The Norwegian has now scored 13 goals in eight games since making his move from the Bundesliga club and his latest was a brilliant finish as he leapt to guide home a wonderful cross with the outside of his boot by Joao Cancelo.
The ball was almost beyond Haaland as he leapt off the ground to reach a cross that most players would have tried to hit with their right foot.
But the towering blond forward is not like most players and he hooked the ball with the outside of his left foot into the Dortmund goal, prompting an astonished roar from the home crowd.
There was something inevitable about the 22-year-old, who scored 86 goals in 89 appearances for Dortmund, deciding the outcome but it was a surprise how much City had struggled for almost an hour.
Pep Guardiola opted to rotate his squad a little and his players struggled to find their usual tempo and fluency in a dull opening 45 minutes.
The German defence had coped with City’s pedestrian build-up play with neither Jack Grealish or Riyad Mahrez getting much joy on the wings.
The first real chance came in the 52nd minute and it fell to Dortmund with Marco Reus bustling in from the left but he scooped his shot wide of the far post.
Reus was more accurate, though, four minutes later when a corner reached him at the back of the penalty area and he whipped a ball back into the box for England international Jude Bellingham to head past Ederson.
Guardiola had been preparing a triple change when the goal was scored and he soon introduced Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez.
The trio provided the desired impact — adding the missing pace and inventiveness to City’s forward play but when they drew level in the 80th minute it was thanks to a defender.
Kevin De Bruyne played the ball inside to John Stones who blasted a fierce drive past Alexander Meyer from outside the box.
The momentum was with City and all Dortmund’s efforts to neutralise Haaland counted for nothing when Cancelo produced his magical cross and the Norwegian his full stretch finish.
“In the end we showed what we are. This is what we are and this is how we have to play. I’m proud of the last 20, 25 minutes,” Haaland said.
“We scored two wonderful goals today – mine was a bit better, honestly. It was a nice cross from Cancelo,” he said.
Bellingham reflected on the predictability of the match-winner.
“Yeah I knew it (would be him) to be honest. Not many people know how to stop him. We did a really good job tonight and then he did what he does – unfortunately for us,” he said.
City, who won their opening group game against Sevilla 4-0, top the standings on six points, three ahead of the Germans.
(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Ed Osmond)