Manchester City limped out of Europe with a 1-0 defeat to group winners Borussia Dortmund, confirming them as the first English team to fail to win a single game in the Champions League group stage.
Julian Schieber scored the only goal of the evening for the hosts who dominated the match and confirmed their status as many people’s dark horses for the tournament.
Roberto Mancini sent out a clear indication that his side were going for the win after naming a strong starting line-up, despite the top of the table clash in the Manchester derby looming on Sunday. However, this message had obviously not filtered through to the players as they showed little to set the pulses racing in a first half of few chances.
Dortmund began the match the brighter of the two sides with Marco Reus showing the qualities that are rapidly making him one of the hottest properties in German football.
It was Oliver Kirch, another player who saw a lot of the ball in the first period, who was first to hit the target though, but his curling shot from distance was comfortably saved by Joe Hart.
City saw a lot of the ball without ever really showing the urgency to turn their possession into chances and it wasn’t until the 34th minute that they made Roman Weidenfeller, in the Dortmund goal, work. Edin Dzeko tried his luck from distance and his dipping shot was tipped round the corner by the German stopper.
Reus was the only player to show any real attacking intent in the first half and his darting run and powerful shot that zipped just past Joe Hart’s post was the highlight of a rather dull opening 45 minutes.
City started the second half much better than they did the first, Dzeko heading Samir Nasri’s cross at goal but Weidenfeller was equal to it.
But they were then subject to a Dortmund onslaught with Ivan Perisic’s brilliant 20 yard volley forcing a save from Joe Hart before the England number one was again called into action tipping Kevin Grosskreutz’s shot round the post.
The home side’s pressure soon told as Julian Schieber (57) slid in to poke substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski’s superb low cross into the City goal to take a well deserved lead. It was a typically well worked and fluid goal from the hosts, who have played some outstanding football throughout this year’s competition.
Schieber almost made it two immediately after the restart as he found himself through on goal but his attempted chip was read by Hart who stood up to the forward and caught the ball comfortably in the end.
With the introduction of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez seemed to find a new lease of life and the Argentine’s mazy run into the Dortmund box was only ended when his snapshot was hit right at Weidenfeller who palmed it away.
Robert Lewandowski was brought on by Jurgen Klopp to try and kill the game off and the Pole almost did so but he took the ball wider than he needed to and Hart was once again up to the task, saving his shot, albeit with his face.
The Germans continued to look the more likely to score and were guilty of trying to walk the ball into the net at times, a show of their superiority over their English counterparts.
Aguero did have a late shot well saved by Weidenfeller as City broke forward but it was a rare foray forward for the visitors who never really looked like they would get back in the game. Mario Balotelli’s yellow card for dissent in the last minute summed up an entirely frustrating and underwhelming night for Mancini’s men that was befitting of their utterly disappointing campaign in Europe.
Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Hummels, Kirch, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Leitner, Gundogan, Perisic, Reus (Blaszczykowski, 46) Grosskreutz, Schieber (Lewandowski, 77).
Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, Nasri (Zabaleta, 68), Sinclair (Aguero, 57), Garcia, Barry, Dzeko (Balotelli, 65), Tevez.
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