Updated: 03/10/2012 22:48 | By pa.press.net

Balotelli denies Dortmund win



Mario Balotelli, right, scores a second-half penalty to secure a draw for Manchester City

Mario Balotelli, right, scores a second-half penalty to secure a draw for Manchester City

Substitute Mario Balotelli rescued Manchester City's Champions League campaign with a late penalty equaliser in a pulsating 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.

The German champions looked set to edge a contest dominated by both goalkeepers after Marco Reus pounced on a Jack Rodwell mistake to score just after the hour. City keeper Joe Hart and his opposite number Roman Weidenfeller had both produced a string of outstanding saves to keep their respective sides in the game at the Etihad Stadium.

However, Balotelli's late effort, after a contentious handball decision, ensured City now at least have a point from their opening two games in Group D.

City flew in as early as the first minute, as Samir Nasri hit the target with a snap-shot from the edge of the area which Weidenfeller parried. Dortmund also went close early on when Robert Lewandowski headed over from a Lukasz Piszczek cross. Hart produced the first of a series of fine saves to tip a Mario Gotze shot from the edge of the area on to the post after a quick Dortmund counter-attack.

The breathless opening continued as Marcel Schmelzer and Jakub Blaszczykowski cut through City with some fine interplay, but the hosts managed to recover and clear their lines. Hart came to City's rescue twice in quick succession to deny Gotze, first blocking at close range and then tipping a thunderous drive on to the bar.

City went close again when Zabaleta floated in a dangerous cross, but after it dropped just over Dzeko's head, Silva could only volley over. Dortmund had the last chance of the first half when Ilkay Gundogan found space in the area, but Hart, yet again, was equal to the shot.

Edin Dzeko did well to control a Yaya Toure pass with his chest early in the second half but his shot lacked the power to trouble Weidenfeller. City's poor luck with injuries in the competition continued as Nasri was forced off and Aleksandar Kolarov took his place. Meanwhile, Hart was stretched again as he turned away a swerving shot from Gotze.

But the England number one could do little after Rodwell gifted the ball to Reus with a poor pass just after the hour and the Dortmund attacker burst forward to blast into the net. The hosts were again lucky to stay in the game as Lewandowski first shot over and then put wide moments later after being picked out with a superb pass from Gundogan.

City boss Roberto Mancini surprisingly opted not to turn to Carlos Tevez in his attempts to snatch a result in the closing stages, instead sending on the unpredictable Balotelli. City kept the pressure on and gained a very fortunate penalty decision when Aguero hooked the ball towards goal and it struck Subotic's arm at point-blank range.

Balotelli did not complain and he stepped up to despatch a cool spot-kick into the bottom corner. The drama was not over and, fittingly, Hart had the final word as he kept out a strong drive from Lewandowski.

70Comments
03/10/2012 22:25
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What a bunch of overpaid footballers" a disgrace of a performance tonight and very very lucky to get a point!!! 
03/10/2012 23:01
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where are the city lot? there always here when there team is winning but never when they draw or play poor pft joe hart is without a doubt the best goal keeper iv seen for a while his reflexes and 1v1 shot stopping is amazing for someone of his figure! the rest of the city team way below average unlucky Dortmund!
03/10/2012 23:07
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I was reading lots of remarks from City fans on MSN today, saying Man U were nowhere as good as them.  Funny none of them around tonight? Makes me howl with laughter.  
03/10/2012 23:06
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If it wasn't for Hart City would have lost by 5 or 6 goals. Utd's defence has been poor this season but City's is worse, haven't even got the excuse of injuries.
03/10/2012 22:49
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city were poor and dortmund were very unlucky not to have won but what an incredible goalkeeping performance by the city keeper
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what a luck team City are should have been stuffed.  perhaps mancini will have a chance to winge again
03/10/2012 22:19
03/10/2012 22:56
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That Balotelli is a rum bugger. He can take a good penalty but I wouldn't want him cleaning my windows. City are rotating too much to gel,.Either that or they are 5hit.
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Jonathan keeping the Champions apart in the Champions League group stages would be totally unfair to the rest of the teams taking part shocks happen every year in the FA Cup why should the Champions League be different or are you a city supporter frightened they are going out in the group stage????????????
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Dortmund closed City down and played most of them off the park. Worst performance Yaya has put in since he joined and the defense was poor. Aguero put in a shift, Silva was good in the first half but got closed out in the second; Dzeko played well but his finishing was weak. Zabeleta played well and was one of City's few consistent players, but most of the rest of the team were dominated  by Borussia.

Only Joe Hart shone. Best goal keeping performance he's had since he started playing, I'd guess. Tonight confirmed he is one of the Worlds top three keepers. Spectacular display from a great charector. Typical Balotelli penalty, 9 out of 9 now. Mr cool. Takes some bottle to slide it in so slowly after sending the keeper the wrong way

On this showing its not surprising that Dortmund was so dominant in the Bundesleage last year. They were a tougher opponent than Real and City were lucky to get the draw. Good to see no diving by either team  though.It was  a pleasant change for such a highly charged game to be played by sportsmen on both sides.

The truth is City's defense isn't as strong without a midfield stopper since de Jonge left  and there's no one in the squad to fulfill that role. It wouldn't be such a problem in the Premiership, but it will be in the CL. Be interesting to see what Mancini's planning to stop the leaks, because he's going to have to do something.

03/10/2012 23:19
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well what do you know aguero was right after all  foreign players  [ subotic ] never get decisions going their way bet he doesnt cry over that bad call

03/10/2012 22:59
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just looked at the opening headlines on MSN  - 22:56  'City lose' - everyone have a look now!  .....I wonder if this is propaganda???
04/10/2012 05:45
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It was a very good game, fast flowing. but city need to be a lot better in defense.

to change it as mancini did was a very bad idea. but it does show that city can play very well.

i also think tha tevez should have played. it was agood result. very good game end to end football.

both goal keepers had a great game.

city will probably not go through and i did think that they would not win. a draw was a good result.

silva was great.

i hope that fergy took note as he was there. he will need to improve utd as so far they have only played

one good team and lost.

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Moaning Mancin's mercenaries ....,just a load of very expencive camels
03/10/2012 22:50
04/10/2012 08:46
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Why does it say on the main MSN page that the result was 'Man City beaten' if the result was 1-1?
04/10/2012 10:13
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the blue moon is looking more like uranous every day ... crap ...
04/10/2012 03:10
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Was it a poor performance from City, or are Dortmund a very good team? I suspect a bit of both, but  we saw a really good performance from the German Champions last night.

 

They closed us down better, controlled the ball better, always had a man available while City didn't and just seemed to have a better overall plan.

 

It shows what a joked EUFA rules are when these 4 teams can be 'drawn' in the same group. In the Champion's League, surely Champions should enjoy the right to be seeded and kept apart until the later stages?

03/10/2012 23:03
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looks like mancini's been passing out the brown paper envelopes to the ref
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