Football Features

“Young Foden, God of Thunder” – Player ratings as Man City banish Champions League quarter-final curse with spectacular comeback

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:17, 14 April 2021

In a bold night of football, Man City came from behind to beat Borussia Dortmund 1-2 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate to progress to the Champions League semi-final.

This is the first-time City have made Europe’s final four in half a decade, and they will now relish a clash against PSG. They had to work for it against Borussia Dortmund, but work they did and they made it through.

Here’s how the players rated at Westfalenstadion:

Borussia Dortmund

Marwin Hitz – 7 – Made several impressive stops to keep Man City at bay. Accusations that he should have done better on City’s second goal are cruel given the power on the strike.

Mateu Morey – 7 – Relentlessly energetic. Diving into duels all night long. 2 tackles, 2 interceptions and he won possession 5 times.

Manuel Akanji – 7 – Constantly got himself in the way of City’s crosses and passes in the first-half but began to noticeably tire in the second, especially against Kevin De Bruyne.

Mats Hummels – 7 – Really solid at the back. Could do nothing about either City goal.

Raphael Guerreiro – 6 – A quiet night for Dortmund’s left-back.

Emre Can – 3 – Had a moment of madness when he needlessly stuck his arm out and conceded a penalty to give City an equaliser. A hideous mistake that completely turned the game City’s way.

Jude Bellingham – 8 – Opened the scoring with an absolutely stunning strike, launching it with little backlift into he net. Cleared a Riyad Mahrez shot off the line 30 minutes in as well. An all-action display from what is now the youngest ever Englishman to score in the Champions League.

Mahmoud Dahoud – 7 – A fantastic defensive display from Dahoud as he really pitched in to help keep City out for an hour but obviously tired in the second-half.

Ansgar Knauff – 5 – Never got into the game as an offensive force. Tracked back and helped out defensively but that’s it.

Marco Reus – 7 – An all-action display from the Dortmund captain who was involved in attack (2 chances created) and defence (3 tackles, a team high) all night long as he desperately tried to lift his team to a win.

Erling Haaland – 6 – Excellent hold-up play in the lead-up to Dortmund’s opener but absolutely starved of service besides that.


Giovanni Reyna (for Knauff 69′) – 5 – Could not get into the game at all.

Thorgan Hazard (for Dahoud 76′) – 6 – Played some neat balls.

Julian Brandt (for Bellingham 81′) – 6 – Tried to make things happen.

Stefan Tigges (for Morey 81′) – n/a – Came on late.

Manchester City

Ederson – 6 – Could do nothing about Dortmund’s opener and then wasn’t really tested after that.

Kyle Walker – 6 – Poor in attack, solid at the back.

John Stones – 6 – Bamboozled by Haaland for Dortmund’s opening goal but played well besides that, cutting out several Dortmund attacks with a game-high 4 interceptions.

Ruben Dias – 7 – Cool, calm and in control.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7 – A brilliant outlet on the left, always open for his team-mates and playing a huge role in the build-up of City’s many, many attacks.

Rodrigo – 7 – Kept things ticking over in the middle of the park.

Ilkay Gundogan – 8 – Absolutely ran the show from the middle of the pitch. Most touches, most passes; he attempted as many passes inside Dortmund’s half (70) as any Dortmund player completed across the whole pitch (Akanji with 70). Always looked to push the tempo and get City on the front foot.

Kevin De Bruyne – 8 – Thundered a shot off the bar after brilliantly dispossessing Morey in the first-half. Went on a dizzying run through half the Dortmund side only to put his shot too close to Hitz in the second. Those were the highlights of a game played on the edge of logic from De Bruyne. Relishing his role as captain he was constantly hitting the accelerator, completing 5/5 dribbles, and Dortmund had to extend themselves to their full height to keep him in check.

Riyad Mahrez – 7 – A solid outlet on the right. Could have scored first-half but saw his shot cleared off the line. Stepped up to annihilate the penalty kick, showing none of the nerves he has in the past and just burying it to give City a crucial equaliser on the night and an aggregate lead.

Bernardo Silva – 7 – Not as influential in the early going but came into his own once City took the lead on aggregate.

Phil Foden – 8 – Young Foden, God of Thunder. An absolutely relentless display from the young attacker, showing just why he’s keeping Raheem Sterling out of the side. Was stretching the field and stretching Dortmund but blew the top off the game with an absolute masterclass of a strike in the second half. Foden unleashed the full power of the Odinforce in that shot and left poor Marwin Hitz with no chance. The goal let off an explosion of joy in both Foden himself but also every City player.


Raheem Sterling (for Mahrez 88′) – 5 – Came on late but had a great chance to score. Dithered in possession, however, and lost the ball.