All the talk ahead of this game was about Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund’s goal machine.
Under the radar went Jude Bellingham, who does not command the same attention as Haaland, but who is arguably just as important to Dortmund.
While Haaland brings the goals, Bellingham brings the industry and enterprise behind him, providing the platform for his more celebrated team-mate to put the ball in the net.
Included in Gareth Southgte’s last England squad, Bellingham is in contention for a place in the final 23 for this summer’s Euros, on the back of his impressive displays for Dortmund.
And it says everything about his standing that while the more experienced duo of Thorgan Hazard and Thomas Delaney were dropped following Dortmund’s weekend defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, the 17-year-old kept his place.
He justified coach Edin Terzic’s faith in him with a formidable, energetic display that saw him go from defensive midfielder to marauding box-to-box attacker, all the while playing with discipline and diligence.
It was Bellingham who produced the first chance of the game, a shot in the seventh minute saved by Ederson, which set the tone for his all-action display, which will have endorsed his claim to be part of England’s squad this summer.
The second-youngest player to reach a Champions League quarter-final, behind former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic, Bellingham played with a maturity and intelligence that belied his age.
His endeavour and awareness was rewarded with a goal in the 37th minute, when he took the ball off Ederson, only for the effort to be disallowed for an alleged foul on the Manchester City keeper.
It was a scandalous decision, with Bellingham earning a yellow card to compound his sense of injustice.
But he did not let it affect him, playing a key role in Dortmund’s away goal, even if they were denied a draw late on by Phil Foden’s winner.
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