Borussia Dortmund 0, Manchester City 0
Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty as Borussia Dortmund and Manchester shared a goalless draw to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League.Embed from Getty Images
It was the 25th spot kick in all competitions missed under Pep Guardiola, excluding shootout misses, more than any other Premier League side since the start of the 2016/17 season.
And without Erling Haaland on the pitch – the Norwegian hammered home one at the weekend against Brighton – the Algerian failed from the penalty spot for the second time in a row (his success rate since he joined Leicester City is now only 70% – 19 scored from 27 taken with 10 scored out of 14 for Manchester City).
Haaland did start the game but had been substituted at half time along with Joao Cancelo with City manager Pep Guardiola explaining that both players had felt unwell in the week leading up to the game.
He explained: “We played much better in the second half, we lost some balls in the first half.
“Our game on Saturday [against Brighton] was so demanding and our players were tired.
“Erling didn’t feel good – he and Joao Cancelo had a little fever before the game – we struggled a lot.
“We adjusted our pressing down the left side and a draw was a good result for them.”
Guardiola refused to be drawn on the prospect of changing the order of penalty takers when Haaland is not on the pitch and defended Mahrez after his spot kick miss.
He added: “He scored a lot of penalties for us, I admire the courage but we have to improve.
“Missing 25 penalties, many of them in the Champions League, is too much. We will see what happens. We have to improve as small margins like this can make a difference.”
The game itself will not live long in the memory and with the World Cup approaching and Gregor Kobel’s save – at a nice height from Mahrez to the left but too close to him – was the best chance of the game as City won the group with a game to spare.