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The Curse Is Finally Over

Mahrez celebrates after scoring against Borussia Dortmund
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Manchester City end their UCL quarter-final curse after goals from Mahrez and Foden saw them seal the tie at Dortmund.

For three consecutive seasons, we saw Pep Guardiola’s side getting knocked out in the quarters of the  UEFA Champions League but that’s not the case anymore as Manchester City beat German side, Borussia Dortmund 2 – 1 to win the tie 4 – 2 on aggregate. Phil Foden’s last-minute winner gave City the advantage in the first leg and it was that young man again who ended the long curse for City. Coming into the game, Edin Terzic made two changes to his side which faced Stuttgart, as Delaney and Reyna made way for Emre Can and Knauff. As for City, they went with their false 9 formation and made just the one change – Zinchenko replacing Cancelo at left-back.

The game seemed quite open in the first half and then in the 15th minute, 17-year-old Jude Bellingham became the second-youngest player to score in the Champions League knockout stage. The ball fell kindly to him inside the penalty box and the youngster curled it and put the ball behind Ederson. The pressure was back on Manchester City and Pep going in at halftime with Dortmund leading the game and winning the tie, on away goals.


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The second half though saw things turn…and how. In the 52nd minute of the game, Man City were awarded a penalty. Emre Can who was the reason City got their first goal in the first leg, gave away the penalty. Trying to clear the ball with his head, the German got it completely wrong and the ball went on to hit his outstretched arm. Mahrez drilled the ball into the right-hand side of the goalkeeper Hitz who couldn’t do enough to stop the ball. This goal changed the dynamics of the game with City now piling on the pressure on their opponents and in the 75th minute, Phil Foden sealed the tie and ended their QF curse. The young Brit set himself up with a beautiful first touch which gave him some space outside the box to go for goal and then drilled the ball into the near post giving Hitz no chance to save it. City went on to hold their lead and win the tie 2 – 4 on aggregate.


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This victory meant that the high-profile Manchester City qualify for the last four stage of the UCL for the first time in four years and they go on to face Neymar and MBappe vs Paris Saint Germain. Could this finally be the year for Pep Guardiola and his team to have their hands on ol’ Big Ears? PSG awaits… 


[Image Credit: Manchester City]