Joe Hart pulled off a number of stunning saves as Manchester City snatched a late equaliser at home to Borussia Dortmund to keep them in the Champions League this evening.
The England number 1 made 9 saves in all, a number of them top drawer as Joe Hart put his name into hat as an early contender for the UEFA Team of the Year.
Manchester City came into the game as odds-on favourites to win the home tie against the German champions but were on the back foot for large periods of the game. After a disappointing campaign last season that saw Borussia Dortmund eliminated after finishing bottom of a group that contained Arsenal, Jürgen Klopp’s side have not picked up 4 points from their first 2 group games to put them in a good position to progress from this season’s group stage.
After a number of saves from Joe Hart, Marco Reus finally made the break through for the visitors on 61 minutes as Dortmund looked to pull off the shock of the week. Manchester City were sparred their blushes with a late penalty that Mario Balotelli casually converted in the 90th minute.
Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic were often caught out by the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Götze and Marco Reus who a number of shots on goal throughout the game. But for a top performance from Joe Hart, the Citizens would have almost-certainly lost this game.
Manchester City were beaten 3-2 at Real Madrid in their opening group game having lead 2-1 going into the final minutes. A draw for Roberto Mancini’s side this evening means they are 5 points behind Madrid and 3 behind Dortmund with 4 games to go.
However, City play Ajax in their next 2 games where they are widely-expected to take 6 points from which would likely to see them leap above Borussia Dortmund who play Real Madrid twice during the same period.
The Premier League champions were eliminated at the group stage of this competition last season, finishing behind Real Madrid and Napoli. Failure to make it out of the group may raise questions about Mancini’s future, with the Champions League supposedly a key target for the owners this season.
Domestically, Manchester City have drawn back-to-back games against Stoke City and Arsenal in the Premier League before Edin Dzeko’s late winner at Fulham last weekend. Manchester City host Sunderland on Saturday.