By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The German champions were the better side on Wednesday in Manchester and deservedly took the lead in the 61st minute through Marco Reus. The visitors had several chances to extend their lead in the second half but City keeper Joe Hart refused to be beaten twice in the contest.
City were then awarded a dubious penalty decision in the 90th minute which substitute Mario Balotelli converted with ease.
Let's get this out of the way first - Manchester City goalkeeper Hart was the man-of-the-match in this game. Dortmund had 20 shots at goal in the game, 12 were on target of which Hart made at least half a dozen top draw saves.
This leads us on to the City defending which was, as you can imagine, pretty pedestrian.The centre-back partnership of Kompany and Nastasic was very poor especially in terms of communicating to each other. Protecting the flanks for City, Zabaleta had a really good game defensively as well as with his crossing while at left-back Clichy was largely anonymous in terms of a positive impact for City.
When City manager Mancini brought on Kolarov for Nasri in the second half, he reshuffled his 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-5-2 with Kompany, Nastasic and Clichy forming the back three. This only served to confuse Kompany and Nastasic further and City were lucky not concede a second goal as Dortmund kept on creating chances.
Hart - 9.5 | Zabaleta - 7.5 | Kompany - 6.5 | Nastasic - 6.5 | Clichy (Off 81') - 6
City's midfield started the match well enough as the game wore on they began to get overrun by Dortmund's youthfulness - especially the terrific trio of Reus, Gotze, and Gundogan. Garcia had to come in the first half because of an injury and he was replaced with Rodwell and it was the Englishman's mistake which led to Dortmund's solitary goal in the match.
In the past, City have relied on Toure to win them games from midfield but against Dortmund he looked out of sync and there is speculation he was carrying a knock during the game - this would explain his lacklustre performance.
Dortmund defended with a very high line and Mancini will have been disappointed that his more attack minded midfielders such as Silva and in particular Nasri failed to get in behind the German backline on more occasions in the second half. To be fair to Silva, City did create some of their best chances in the game when the Spaniard linked up with Zabaleta as well as Aguero, who was played in a deeper role in Mancini's initial 4-2-3-1.
Garcia (Off 34') - N/A | Toure - 5.5 | Nasri (Off 57') - 5 | Silva - 7
Dzeko was rewarded for his winning goal against Fulham in the Premier League with a spot in City's first XI against Dortmund. He played up front on his own but with support from Aguero who ran his socks off in the more withdrawn role.
Mancini can probably make the case that he got his tactics right against Dortmund as City managed to carve open decent chances for both Dzeko and Aguero to score during the game but for the good goalkeeping from Dortmund's Weidenfeller.
In the end City did score thanks to a contribution from Aguero in the 90th minute - the Argentinean's attempted hook shot or cross towards goal hit Dortmund defender Subotic on the arm at point blank range and the referee favourably blew for a penalty kick to City.
Aguero - 7.5 | Dzeko - 7
The first substitution City manager Mancini made was one that was forced upon him as Garcia succumb to injury in the first half. Summer signing Rodwell was brought on for his Champions League debut but he'll not want to savour the moment as it was his mistake in the 61st minute which handed Dortmund the lead. The Englishman played a blind pass outside his own box to Dortmund midfielder Reus and he beat Hart to score.
The second substitution was an interesting one as Mancini took off Nasri and brought on attacking full-back Kolarov. Mancini reshuffled his 4-2-3-1 formation to a 3-5-2 as a result: Silva moved more centrally, Kolarov slotted in on the left to leave a back three of Kompany, Nastasic and Clichy. This did not really have the desired impact Mancini hoped for as it actually weakened City's defending as a unit. This was not Kolarov's fault - he came on and brought much needed urgency and energy to City's play and scores marks for this.
The last substitute needs no introduction. City could not afford to lose a second Champions League game on the bounce and so Mancini threw Balotelli on with less than 10 minutes to spare. He did his part too; a very cooly taken penalty to earn City a point.
Kolarov (On 57') - 6.5 | Rodwell (On 34') - 5 | Balotelli (On 81') - 6.5
City goalkeeper Hart was brilliant but Dortmund's No. 1 was not bad either. City could not find a way past Weidenfeller in open play and only beat the goalie from a penalty which was fortunately awarded to City.
In an interesting twist Piszczek played on the left behind Reus when many were predicting the Pole to play in his usual position at right-back behind compatriot Błaszczykowski. At left-back Piszczek did pretty well for the most part but on the opposite flank his team-mate Schmelzer had some issues defending against the runs of Zabaleta as well as preventing the City player from crossing.
The central defensive pairing of Hummels and Subotic performed defensively for the team but the latter is penalised a point for conceding the late penalty to City - although as we mentioned several times already it seemed like a harsh decision.
Weidenfeller - 8 | Piszczek - 7 | Subotic - 6 | Hummels (Off 74') - 7 | Schmelzer - 6.5
Dortmund's midfield of Bender, Gundogan, Gotze and Reus were all very impressive. The best of Dortmund's best though had to be Reus who made City - normally so solid at home - look weak defensively. The timing and intelligence of his runs into space as well as into the box was second to none and he also scores points with us for somehow finding a way past the brick wall that was City keeper Hart on Wednesday.
Gotze too must get a special mention as his link up play with Lewandowski and other team-mates sparked a very credible period of dominance for Dortmund in the second half leading up to the goal. On another day against a different goalkeeper he would've had a hat-trick.
Bender - 7 | Gundogan (Off 82') - 7 | Blaszczykowski - 6.5 | Reus - 8 | Gotze (Off 88') - 7.5
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance, reportedly to watch Dortmund striker Lewandowski. If that's the case we would love to see how he rated the striker's performance. Does he get penalised for not putting away even one of four or five good chances he had in the match to score, or does he get marked up for his good build-up play leading up to some of those chances? We decided to go with the latter.
Lewandowski - 7
Dortmund's three substitutions did not have any real impact on the game as two of them came late in the match with the visitors attempting to eat up some time on the clock and protect their slim one goal lead, as well as to provide the team with some fresh legs for the closing stages.
The most notable substitution was the first one with defender Santana coming on in the 74th minute for Hummels who went off injured.
Santana (On 74') - 6.5 | Kehl (On 88') - N/A | Grosskreutz - N/A (On 82')