4th of October 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Mario Balotelli's last-gasp penalty salvaged a vital point for Manchester City at the end of a thrilling Champions League battle with German champions Borussia Dortmund. Man City's 17-game unbeaten run at home in Europe seemed to be coming to an end with the German side leading through a Marco Reus goal and only being denied more goals by a sensational performance from goalkeeper Joe Hart. But Roberto Mancini's were gifted a last-minute chance to claim a share of the spoils when Neven Subotic handled inside the area, and substitute Balotelli coolly converted the resulting penalty-kick.
The point keeps City's hopes of reaching the knockout stages alive but they didn't really deserve to get that point as Dortmund dominated most of the match. The match was exciting right from the start as Edin Dzeko created a chance for Samir Nasri early on but his shot was pushed away by Roman Weidenfeller. The German goalie then stopped Sergio Aguero on two occasions but Joe Hart was far busier on the other end. The first great save of the evening for the England goalie came after just 12 minutes when he diverted Marion Gotze's effort on to the post. The first half ended without a goal and that was mostly because of Joe Hart who stopped Gotze on a couple of other chances before denying Ilkay Gundogan.
The battle of the goalies resumed after the break but Joe Hart was finally beaten when a huge error from Rodwell paved the way for Reus who found the back of the net. City tried to fight back but that left them looking even more vulnerable at the back, with Hart blocking another Reus effort and tipping over Gundogan's shot, while Lewandowski failed to turn in a cross from close range.
Balotelli came off the bench with 10 minutes to go and he proved decisive. Subotic handled inside the penalty area and Balotelli made no mistake from the spot. Real Madrid demolished Ajax in Amsterdam to lead the group while Dortmund occupy second spot, three points clear of City. Even a draw means City still have it all to do to reach the knockout stages for the first time but they head for back-to-back ties against Ajax and that might bring them six points if all goes according to plan.
Bet365 have both sides at the same odds to win the Champions League this season, 18/1.
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