City avoids disaster, draws Dortmund
MANCHESTER, England (AP)
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS
|Wednesday, October 3|
|Zenit St. Petersburg||2-3||AC Milan||Recap|
|Manchester City||1-1||Borussia Dortmund||Recap|
|Dynamo Kiev||2-0||Dinamo Zagreb||Recap|
|More: Scores | Stats | Champions League|
Mario Balotelli converted a 90th-minute penalty as Manchester City escaped with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League after being outplayed for long periods by the German champions.
Dortmund defender Neven Subotic was adjudged to have deliberately handled a hooked shot by Sergio Aguero, and Balotelli nonchalantly rolled in the resulting spot kick with the match about to enter added time.
Marco Reus put Dortmund ahead in the 61st minute when he pounced on a sloppy pass from substitute Jack Rodwell to charge through on goal and beat goalkeeper Joe Hart, who kept City in the match with a string of superb saves.
City has just one point from its opening two games in Group D, while Dortmund has four - two behind leader Real Madrid.
By losing at Real Madrid in its first game, City had already put itself under pressure in what is widely seen as the competition's toughest group.
A second straight group-stage exit will be unacceptable to City's Abu Dhabi owners, who have poured money into the club since 2008. Yet this result leaves the English champions with a mountain to climb, even at this early stage.
If it wasn't for Hart, Dortmund would have been out of sight by the time Balotelli took his penalty, nine minutes after the Italy striker came on.
In an open first half that was end-to-end and played in pouring rain, the England international tipped shots from Mario Goetze onto the post and crossbar and also saved brilliantly from Ilkay Gundogan.
Hart also produced a number of great blocks early in the second half, denying Goetze and Gundogan, but he was unable to deny Reus.
The nimble forward read Rodwell's poor pass across the defensive line and raced through before placing a shot to the right of Hart, who got a hand to the ball but couldn't stop it sailing into the corner.
That meant City has conceded in every match this season, the home defense having no answer to the enterprising build-up play of Dortmund's technically gifted forwards all match.
City, whose fans were outsung by Dortmund's raucous away support, had chances of its own, mostly because of the silky skills of David Silva.
The Spain playmaker set up Argentina striker Sergio Aguero for two one-on-one opportunities that were saved in the first half, while right back Pablo Zabaleta blazed over with the goal at his mercy after running onto another slick pass from Silva.
City was under the pressure for most of the second half, though, but emerged with a point thanks to some harsh refereeing and Balotelli's coolness under pressure.