EDS & Academy

City qualify for UEFA Youth League last-16 after pulsating Dortmund draw

City qualify for UEFA Youth League last-16 after pulsating Dortmund draw
UEFA Youth League
UEFA Youth League
Tue 25 Oct
3
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Manchester City are through to the last 16 of the UEFA Youth League for the first time since the 2017/18 season after a pulsating draw away at Borussia Dortmund saw us top Group G with a game to spare. 

Paris Brunner put Dortmund ahead early on, before goals from Will Dickson, Nico O’Reilly and Adedire Mebude gave City a commanding half-time lead.

The home side were level after an hour courtesy of Goktan Gurpuz's excellent double, but City held on during a frantic final 30 minutes that ebbed and flowed and saw chances for both sides, with the youngsters booking their place in the next round of the competition with that point.

What happened 

City got off to the worst possible start when Paris Brunner’s fine header gave Dortmund an early lead. Just like in Seville earlier in our Group G campaign, City were caught cold before we could find our rhythm.

But we equalised in superb fashion and, as is so often the case, Carlos Borges was the architect.

He flew down the left and entered the area, before crossing for Oscar Bobb, whose close-range effort forced a fine reaction save from Silas Ostrzinski. But the ball ended up back at Borges’ feet, and he had the presence of mind to fire another cross across the six-yard area, this time to the feet of Will Dickson, who was there to tap home.

It was exactly what City deserved, with Brian Barry-Murphy’s side largely in control after weathering the early Dortmund storm.

City were almost ahead on the half-hour mark when Borges' powerful near-post strike was pushed onto the post by Ostrzinski. Bobb’s effort on the rebound was way off target, which, at first glance, looked like a poor miss, but closer inspection suggests it was a difficult ball to control.

But City didn’t have to wait long to go in front. Finley Burn’s fine ball through the lines was flicked on by Dickson into the path of O’Reilly, who finished superbly past Ostrzinski. It was slick play from City, who at this stage were firmly in control of proceedings.

Mebude made it 3-1 before half-time with a quite brilliant goal, as he danced past three players inside the area before firing home at the near post – a moment of magic from a player possessing outstanding quality.  

The half-time scoreline was a fair reflection of City’s dominance.

But Dortmund reduced the arrears moments after the restart when Gurpuz blasted the ball past Mikki van Sas after fine work from marauding left wing-back Hendry Blank, bringing a swift German counter-attack to an emphatic conclusion.

Gurpuz's second - arguably the goal of the game - brought Dortmund level, as he cut inside before curling an outrageous effort into the far top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box. 

To be level after such a dominant first-half performance was a true test of our character. 

But we rose to the challenge, producing a final 30 minutes of grit, determination and hard work to ensure we got the point we needed to make it through to the knock-out phase. 

Teams 

Dortmund

XI: Ostrzinski, Semic, Collins, Mane (Meiser 38'), Cisse, Walz, Gurpuz, Blank, Brunner (Korzynietz 73'), Rijkhoff (Simick 60'), Bamber (Nwachukwu 60')

Unused subs: Kirch, Lubach, Ludwig 

City

XI: Van Sas, Carrington, Burns, Katongo, Galvez (Taylor 79'), Charles, Bobb, O’Reilly, Mebude, Borges, Dickson 

Unused subs: Alleyne, Murray-Jones, Wright, Adam, Ndala, Ogwuru

What it means

FC Copenhagen’s 2-1 loss away at Sevilla earlier in the day – coupled with our draw - means City are now safely through to the knock-out phase of the competition for the first time since the 2017/18 season.

City now have 11 points from five games, with second-placed Copenhagen back on seven. 

The eight group winners, which includes City, are automatically through to the last-16. The eight runners-up go into the play-off stage with the eight survivors from the 32-team Domestic Champions path, and from there eight teams will emerge as last-16 contenders. 

Stay tuned to mancity.com and the official Man City app for details of who we are drawn against.

Next up

Premier League 2 action returns at the weekend, with City travelling to Everton on Saturday. That game kicks off at 12:00 (UK).

City are currently third in the table after nine matches, level on points with second-placed Crystal Palace and just a point behind leaders Arsenal.

Our next UEFA Youth League assignment sees us host Sevilla on Wednesday 2 November. Kick off is at 15:00 (UK).

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