Julian Nagelsmann may shuffle his pack for Bayern Munich's Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, with the depleted Bavarians set to host Borussia Dortmund four days later.

Bayern have started their Champions League campaign with back-to-back wins over Inter and Barcelona, and lead the duo by three points at the top of Group C.

Should they record another European win at the Allianz Arena next time out, Bayern will have won their first three Champions League matches for a fourth season in succession.

On the domestic stage, however, Bayern trail surprise pace-setters Union Berlin and Freiburg after an inconsistent run of results, and host rivals Dortmund on Saturday.

With Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich set to miss the Plzen match after contracting COVID-19, Nagelsmann is aware of the need to manage his squad.

"We need to rotate because of Joshua and Thomas, so there are different ways, there are so many options," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match press conference.

"You'll see tomorrow which I decide. We're still in a situation where we need to grab points. 

"It's important for the Champions League to win the game against Plzen, and also to keep the rhythm for the game against Dortmund, where there might be more pressure than in the Champions League.

"Plzen like to play defensively and counter-attack, and that could be a challenge. We'll try to get into our optimum phase considering what is still ahead."

Bayern have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 recently, with Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka withdrawing from the Germany squad after contracting the virus last month.

Nagelsmann offered a positive update on the conditions of Muller and Kimmich, and hopes to have them back after Tuesday's match, adding: "Thomas and Joshua don't have any symptoms, they're doing well. Of course, they would love to play, but nothing has changed.

"We can do the tests on Friday and if those go well, they are candidates against Dortmund. It depends on the tests we will do.

"In general, the incidence is high in Munich so it's a factor that concerns us. We've talked with the players. 

"They've had the suggestion that they're not going to go to the Oktoberfest since the officials took part, so no partying there!

"Outside of the pitch, professional players are normal people. Everybody's looking after themselves."

Nagelsmann also revealed Kingsley Coman will not feature against Plzen despite recovering from a muscle injury, but said Serge Gnabry had his full support if selected to start out wide.

"First of all, with Kingsley, he is doing well," Nagelsmann said. "He practiced well, he was great, but he's not going to be a part of tomorrow's game.

"We'll try to heighten that [his condition] in the next couple of days and then he's an option against Dortmund, but he's not going to start, that's for sure.

"He is doing well. I have good expectations that he can fill a position in the squad against Dortmund, it would be great to have him, and not so great for the opponent.

"I haven't decided 100 per cent, but Serge is certainly a candidate there. We have to see also what we will do against Dortmund, and what happens with Thomas.

"I've known Serge for ages and I think a lot of him. He doesn't worry too much on the field and plays freely. We have a good connection with each other."

Giovanni Reyna is expected to return to action within 10 days despite suffering a muscle strain on international duty, handing the United States a welcome boost ahead of the World Cup.

Reyna was substituted during the first half of the USA's goalless draw with Saudi Arabia earlier this week, after which it was revealed he had suffered from "muscle tightness".

His exit from that match – his country's final friendly ahead of November's trip to Qatar – set alarm bells ringing, particularly given Reyna missed much of last season with similar muscle injuries.

But Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic moved to allay fears of another long-term absence on Thursday, stating: "Gio has a strain and will be out for seven to 10 days. We hope he is available to play following the Sevilla game on Wednesday."

Terzic was also able to offer a positive update on Marco Reus' fitness after the BVB captain was injured in a 1-0 win over local rivals Schalke earlier this month.

"In Marco Reus' case, the injury is fortunately not as bad as first feared," Terzic added. "We hope he will be able to slowly ease his way back into team training after the weekend." 

Dortmund have won five and lost two of their first seven Bundesliga games this campaign to trail surprise leaders Union Berlin by two points.

Jude Bellingham is attracting plenty of admirers with his impressive performances for Borussia Dortmund and England.

The 19-year-old midfielder joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020.

Bellingham is contracted until 2025, but clubs are queueing up to sign the young prospect.

TOP STORY – BLUES JOIN QUEUE FOR BELLINGHAM

Chelsea are the latest club to join the race to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, reports the Telegraph.

Fabrizio Romano claims that Liverpool, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Manchester United along with the Blues are all pursuing a deal for the teenager.

Romano reports that Dortmund are not in talks with any clubs yet, instead deferring any discussions and decision on a price tag until after the 2022 World Cup. The Telegraph claims that Bellingham will cost around £130 million (€145m).

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail reports Manchester City want assurances from Bernardo Silva that he will not push for a move at the end of this season following links with Barcelona during the last transfer window. City are said to be planning talks with Silva in the coming months.

– Barcelona are interested in Ilkay Gundogan, who has less than a year remaining on his Manchester City contract, reports Sport. The German midfielder, who turns 32 in October, has been with City since 2016.

– Karim Benzema and Real Madrid are close to agreeing to an extension on his contract, locking him down at the club until 2024, reports Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

– Tuttosport claims Milan have offered Rafael Leao an improved contract worth €6million per season plus bonuses, as they attempt to fend off interest from Chelsea and Manchester City.

– The Sun claims Arsenal will make a January move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz after failing in an attempt to sign him on deadline day.

– Socceroos 18-year-old forward Garang Kuol has flown to England to sign with Newcastle United having reached an agreement with his Australian club Central Coast, claims Fabrizio Romano. Sky Sports reports that Kuol will be loaned out in January.

Declan Rice has described Jude Bellingham as "the future of English football", claiming his international midfield partner is the most talented 19-year-old he has ever seen.

Although England suffered relegation from the top tier of the Nations League last week, Bellingham has done no harm to his chances of starting at the upcoming World Cup during the international break. 

With Manchester City's Kalvin Phillips enduring an injury-blighted campaign, Bellingham started alongside Rice in matches against Italy and Germany, impressing in a box-to-box role.

In Monday's 3-3 draw with Germany, Bellingham led England's charts for passes completed (41), touches (67), touches in the opposition box (six), duels won (eight), tackles won, interceptions and fouls won (all three).

Rice believes the Borussia Dortmund star's all-round ability is unique for someone of his age, telling the Daily Mirror: "I don't think I've seen anyone as good as he is for 19.

"I look at a lot of 19-year-olds, whether it's at a club, around the world, around the country. To have the whole package is a hard thing and I feel like he's got that.

"He's 19 but he's got the body of a 28-year-old – he's a man. He thinks like a man, plays like a man and shows personality and character. 

"I've been around and played so many more games than he has in my career, but you can just tell as a 19-year-old what he brings to the team already, the energy he's got.

"He can play in a holding role, he can play as an eight, he can play as a 10.

"He's a man – you can see it when he plays for Dortmund. As a 19-year-old, you're normally scared to talk to the referee but he's in the referee's face demanding answers, demanding decisions and he leaves himself on the pitch constantly. 

"He really pushes you on the pitch. We push each other on and it's a privilege to play next to him.

"Every time I play with Jude, we're building that connection and I say to him; 'you go and bomb on and do your attacking stuff and I'll sit here and defend for you'. So we're getting that good connection, he's great to play with.

"Hopefully, he keeps flourishing. He's the future of English football to come for the next 15 years."

While Bellingham's individual displays have earned rave reviews, England will begin the World Cup – against Iran on November 21 – having gone six games without a win (D3 L3).

This is their longest such run going into a major tournament, but Rice believes the Three Lions were much improved against Germany, adding: "We're sticking with a formation that needs work and we're working on that in training all the time. 

"I feel like there's positive signs there. It's just a blip at the moment but that was a massive, positive step."

Juventus have reportedly made contact with Christian Pulisic's camp as they begin the process of putting together a January offer for the out-of-favour Chelsea winger.

Pulisic, 24, has only started one game this season in all club competitions, and he was subbed off in the 60th minute. He also has made five appearances as a substitute, but the longest has lasted 26 minutes.

The United States international, who was signed from Borussia Dortmund for a £58million fee in January 2019, now finds himself on the outside looking in, and long-time admirers Juventus are seeking to capitalise on the potentially depreciated asset.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS CONTACT PULISIC ABOUT SERIE A MOVE

According to Calciomercato, Pulisic has been "very fond of the Juventus management for some time" and he plans on leaving at the end of the season when he has one year remaining on his contract and more leverage.

While Pulisic may wish to see out the remainder of the season and give things a go with new boss Graham Potter, Chelsea are said to have set his price at a reasonable figure of £31m. If the Italian side view that as a fair price, and if Pulisic has not broken into a starting role by January, things could progress quicker than anticipated.

However, further Calciomercato reports claiming Juventus are eyeing moves for defenders Benoit Badiashile from Monaco and Evan Ndicka from Eintracht Frankfurt at the end of the campaign could imply they do not have the necessary funds to make any serious additions mid-season.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to iNews, Newcastle United are considering a £50m bid for Shaktar Donetsk's rising 21-year-old winger Mykhalo Mudryk

– Marca is claiming Real Madrid's "main target" at the end of the season will be Borussia Dortmund's prized English midfielder Jude Bellingham.

– Corriere dello Sport is reporting Chelsea plan to increase their previous offer of £44.5m for 26-year-old Inter defender Denzel Dumfries, and would be willing to loan him back to the Italian club for the remainder of the season if they can come to an agreement in January.

– With Manchester United reportedly ready to move on from goalkeeper David de Gea, Football Insider states they are monitoring Aston Villa's Emiliano Martinez as a replacement.

– RAC1 claims Real Madrid's Marco Asensio has already signed a preliminary contract with rivals Barcelona, with his Madrid contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Rafael Leao has plenty of admirers, having scored three goals in six Serie A appearances for Milan this term.

The 23-year-old provided an assist for Portugal's first goal in Saturday's 4-0 win in the Czech Republic.

The forward was voted the Serie A Most Valuable Player last season as the Rossoneri won the Scudetto.


TOP STORY – MILAN EAGER TO EXTEND RAFAEL LEAO DEAL

Milan have put forward an offer to tie down Manchester City and Chelsea target Rafael Leao on a new contract, reports Calciomercato.

The report claims that the Rossoneri are willing to increase his salary beyond the €2million he currently receives, up to €6.5m, as they look to fend off rival interest.

Milan understand that it may be difficult to convince the Portuguese to stay at the San Siro, although he is contracted until 2024.


ROUND-UP 

Barcelona will cut their losses with Antoine Griezmann on a deal to sell him back to Atletico Madrid, according to Mundo Deportivo. The initial agreement included a purchase clause of €35-40m but Atletico have avoided triggering that, creating a stand-off. The Blaugrana are now prepared to lower their asking price with Atletico set to offer €25m in January.

– The Mirror claims Atletico are considering a move to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez as Jan Oblak's successor, with the Slovenian out of contract at the end of this season.

– The race for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham's signature continues, with The Sun claiming Manchester City are confident they will beat Liverpool and Manchester United to him. It is understood Dortmund are willing to sell the 19-year-old for £83m.

– Manchester United are weighing up whether to move to extend goalkeeper David de Gea's contract another year, reports the Sunday Telegraph. The Spaniard is out of contract at the end of this season.

Arguably the most in-demand teenager in world football, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham reportedly has Real Madrid as his preferred destination.

Bellingham, who only turned 19 in June, has already racked up 68 Bundesliga appearances and 18 Champions League games since arriving from Birmingham City ahead of the 2020-21 season. He has scored in both of his Champions League games this campaign, including one against Manchester City.

While he has already been awarded 15 senior international caps for England, and is preparing for his first World Cup, Spain's El Chiringuito TV has made the shocking claim that Bellingham will shun the Premier League altogether and head to Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – SPANISH MEDIA BELIEVES BELLINGHAM HAS CHOSEN REAL MADRID

It has been strongly suggested this will be Bellingham's last season with Dortmund, with Liverpool being consistently linked through this past transfer window, and even querying to see if he would be available in January.

His status as one of England's top teenagers has guaranteed the interest of all of the Premier League's top sides, although a report from The Athletic UK claims Dortmund will hold firm at an asking price of €150million, leaving few with the capabilities to get a deal done.

One team guaranteed to have the required spending power are Spanish giants Madrid, and while his popularity in England is already locked in due to his international status, it might be a case of believing his best chance of becoming a truly transcendent star in the game is to do it at one of the traditional powerhouse clubs.

With that being said, Liverpool have been proactive in their chase of Bellingham, and both they and Manchester City boast the necessary level of worldwide fame, recent success and deep pockets to convince any budding superstar that they are the right choice.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sport is reporting Barcelona's Sergio Busquets will head to MLS and join Inter Miami at the end of the season.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan will make a move for Salzburg striker Noah Okafor in January as their forward depth has been impacted through injuries.

– Sports Today claims Juventus have been in contact with Tottenham's Antonio Conte as they weigh up potentially parting ways with Massimiliano Allegri, with Conte said to be open to the idea after this season.

Arsenal are being linked with 24-year-old Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who has reportedly not impressed Allegri since arriving from Sassuolo, according to Calciomercato.

– L'Equipe is reporting that Ousmane Dembele – who was signed for a base fee of €105m in 2017 – has a €50m release clause in his new contract that will be active at the end of the season, with Dembele set to receive half of that €50m if a deal gets done to compensate him for accepting no signing bonus.

Former Borussia Dortmund defender Dan-Axel Zagadou has signed for Stuttgart on a free transfer.

Zagadou, an ex-youth international for France, left Dortmund at the end of last season.

The 23-year-old's time at Signal Iduna Park was plagued by injuries, with a serious knee problem seeing him miss the end of the 2020-21 campaign and the start of the following term.

Having made his Bundesliga debut at 18, Zagadou went on to play 67 times in Germany's top tier for Dortmund.

Zagadou was unable to find a new club during the transfer window but has now joined Stuttgart, who sit 16th in the Bundesliga, having failed to win any of their opening seven matches.

He has signed a four-year deal with Stuttgart, and he told the club's official website: "I'm very happy to be here.

"I'd like to thank those in charge at VfB for the faith they've shown in me. I'm really looking forward to being out on the pitch with my new team-mates soon."

The club's sporting director, Sven Mislintat, added: "Daxo has all the qualities a top-level centre-back needs. He's athletically strong, is a good passer and has gained valuable experience domestically and at European level over the past few years."

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl allayed fears Marco Reus could miss the World Cup after the forward sustained an ankle injury against Schalke.

Reus' struggles with injuries are well-documented, and it appeared he had suffered another devastating blow when he came off the field on a stretcher in the first half of Saturday's Revierderby.

The initial outlook for Reus, who was in tears as he left the pitch, was not positive, with Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic telling Sky Sport after the game: "It looks as if the ligaments were injured. Of course, he was very disappointed and was in a lot of pain."

Reus was absent from Germany's victorious 2014 World Cup campaign with another ankle injury, but Kehl is confident he will be fit for the upcoming edition in Qatar.

"It was a shock for us, too, but I can give a little 'all clear'," he told SPORT1. "The examinations showed no fracture, just a lateral ligament injury at the ankle.

"[It is] not so difficult that the World Cup is in danger."

Reus was making his 250th Bundesliga appearance for Dortmund on Saturday, and BVB earned a 1-0 win over their bitter rivals in his absence.

Youssoufa Moukoko's winner – making him the youngest Revierderby goalscorer at 17 years old – gave Dortmund four wins in a row in this fixture for the first time since a run of eight between 1964 and 1967.

Marco Reus faces a desperate wait to learn whether his Qatar 2022 World Cup ambitions are over after suffering suspected ankle ligament damage.

The Germany forward sustained the blow on Bundesliga duty with Borussia Dortmund in the derby against Schalke on Saturday, having to be stretchered off the pitch during the first half.

His pain was apparent, and with Germany's World Cup opener against Japan less than two months away, Reus may struggle to recover full fitness in time.

Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic said Reus felt "severe pain", while match-winner Youssoufa Moukoko said he would "hope and pray" his team-mate recovers soon.

"There is no one I talk to more often than our team doctor at the moment," Terzic said. "Today it hit our captain. It is extremely bitter, it was extremely unfortunate. Marco injured his ankle.

"I was only able to speak to him briefly at half-time. Then he was in severe pain. How badly the ligaments are injured, we can't answer yet. It's a shame because Marco was in excellent form, he was in great shape and played great."

Reus was named in Germany boss Hansi Flick's latest squad on Thursday ahead of Nations League games against Hungary and England.

Flick will be concerned by the prospect of losing the 33-year-old, who has won 48 international caps.

That would be particularly cruel for Reus, given he missed out on Germany's 2014 World Cup triumph after suffering an ankle injury in a warm-up game for that tournament. Another injury blow, to his groin, forced Reus out of Euro 2016.

"He has experienced so many setbacks in his career," said Terzic. "We had hoped that he would finally be through with it, especially now in the World Cup year. We hope it's not as serious as it looked."

Moukoko, the 17-year-old whose winner against Schalke made him the youngest Bundesliga scorer in the history of the Revierderby, dedicated his goal to Reus.

He told German broadcaster Sky Sport: "When Marco is on the pitch you feel better, you have the confidence, and I just hope and pray it's not that bad."

Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest ever scorer in a Bundesliga Revierderby as his powerful header gave Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win against Schalke.

At just 17 years and 301 days, it was the prodigious teenager who was the match-winner on Saturday at Signal Iduna Park, taking Dortmund top of the league.

His decisive intervention came in the 79th minute, to ensure the Black and Yellow's dominant efforts were not in vain against their stubborn visitors.

Coupled with Bayern Munich's surprise loss to Augsburg, the result sent Edin Terzic's men to the summit, albeit with fellow early high-flyers Union Berlin and Freiburg still to play this weekend.

The result also helped Dortmund to their longest winning streak against Schalke in over half a century, with four wins on the trot now, having previously achieved eight on the bounce between 1964 and 1967.

It did not come without a cost, however, after captain Marco Reus was stretchered off in the first half, in a potentially significant blow for Dortmund and Germany with the Qatar 2022 World Cup on the horizon.

Borussia Dortmund head coach Edin Terzic is "delighted" by Schalke's return to the Bundesliga – highlighting derby day as the most important in his team's season.

Having spent last season in the second tier, Schalke's return to the top flight means Saturday will see the first Revierderby at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park for almost two years.

The last, in October 2020, had just 300 fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Saturday's clash will be the 99th Bundesliga derby between the teams, with Dortmund currently boasting three wins in a row including a 4-0 triumph in Terzic's first Revierderby that stands as his biggest league win with the club.

"We're absolutely delighted. We know what significance the derby carries for our fans and for the region. We're aware of the responsibility," Terzic said in Friday's press conference.

"The derby is the most important match. We know that we need to win the game. But we also want to win the game."

With four victories from six matches so far, Terzic is keen for another win before the international break, adding: "That would mean we've established ourselves towards the top."

 

Schalke sporting director Rouven Schroder is excited for Saturday's derby but concedes his side will be the underdogs – with only goalkeepers Ralf Fahrmann and Michael Langer having previous experience in a Revierderby. Neither is likely to play this weekend.

"Our overall performance will be decisive. We need to be confident and brave, and we're hoping to go home with a positive result," Schroder said.

"We've earned the chance to play the derby after working hard for a whole year. We can't wait for it now.

"We all know that Dortmund are a Champions League side and they've been on an incredible journey. It's therefore a derby where one side is perhaps a bit stronger than the other, but we'll gladly take on the challenge."

Bundesliga sensation Jude Bellingham has a long list of admirers back in England.

The Three Lions midfielder's contract at Borussia Dortmund runs until 2025.

Bellingham left England when he moved from Birmingham City for Dortmund in 2020.

TOP STORY – REDS LEADING BELLINGHAM PURSUIT

Liverpool are leading the race to sign teenager Bellingham from Dortmund, reports The Telegraph.

Manchester United are also interested in the 19-year-old, who has started all nine of Dortmund's games this season.

Bellingham may be allowed to leave Dortmund in 2023, and the German club are expecting a bid from the Reds.

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror claims Liverpool are also mulling over a move for new Wolves signing Matheus Nunes as an alternative to Bellingham, should they miss out.

– Rafael Leao has attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester City but will snub both to stay with Milan on a new long-term deal, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Sport claims Barcelona are keeping an eye on Monaco's Brazilian left-back Caio Henrique.

– Free agent Danny Rose has verbally agreed to join AEK Athens, reports The Sun. The ex-Tottenham defender left Watford earlier this month.

Pep Guardiola described Jude Bellingham as "exceptional" after the England international gave an impressive performance in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

City were staring at a shock Champions League defeat when Bellingham met Marco Reus' left-wing delivery to nod the Bundesliga outfit ahead in the second half on Wednesday.

But John Stones' long-range strike beat Alexander Meyer in bizarre fashion with 10 minutes left, and Erling Haaland had the last word against his former club when he produced a terrific acrobatic winner.

Speaking after seeing his City team maintain their perfect start to the Champions League campaign, Guardiola singled out Dortmund's teenage midfielder for praise.

"I was impressed two seasons ago when he was 17. Now he's 19... he was good at 17, imagine now at 19," Guardiola said.

"He's able to follow [Ilkay] Gundogan, Kevin [De Bruyne], win the duels, transitions are fast, to have the sense in the box for the goal he scored. 

"So yes, an exceptional player. I think everybody knows it, not because the manager of Manchester City says it, everybody knows it."

Bellingham has now scored four Champions League goals – the most ever managed by an English teenager in the competition. Meanwhile, his 18 appearances in Europe's premier club competition is a record among English players under the age of 20.

Half of the midfielder's Champions League goals have now come against City, after he opened the scoring in the second leg of the club's quarter-final defeat to Guardiola's men in 2020-21.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic was also keen to highlight the quality of his performance, saying: "Jude, like all the other players, gave a great performance in offensive and defensive terms. 

"He blocked so any passes and crosses and also got forward… once again, he was very good against Manchester City."

Erling Haaland's sensational winner against Borussia Dortmund echoed two greats in the form of Johan Cruyff and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Haaland netted with an acrobatic 84th-minute volley from Joao Cancelo's expert centre to seal three points for City against his former club in the Champions League on Wednesday.

It marked a fine turnaround after John Stones had already cancelled out Jude Bellingham's opener with a fierce long-range hit at the Etihad Stadium.

For City boss Guardiola, Haaland's athletic effort drew comparisons to Cruyff's famous strike for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in 1973 – often referred to as the 'ghost goal' due to the scarcity of the available quality footage.

"Maybe the people who know me, you know the influence Johan Cruyff had in my life, as a person, an educator, a manager and mentor, everything," Guardiola said.

"Johan Cruyff, years and years ago at Camp Nou he scored an incredible goal against Atletico Madrid. It was quite similar. The moment he scored the goal I thought, Johan Cruyff.

"It was quite similar. It was a really good one. The pass from Joao is exceptional, he has the ability to do this kind of thing. Simple things, every ball he has, he has to make this kind of action, I know he can do it. That's football, you cannot force it. He made an incredible assist pass and the finishing from Erling was exceptional."

While Guardiola idolises Cruyff, he had a much tenser relationship with one of European football's modern greats, Ibrahimovic.

The striker spent just a season at Barcelona during Guardiola's tenure and the two did not see eye to eye.

Yet Guardiola sees the similarities in skill level between Haaland – who is now the youngest player in Champions League history to score for and against the same side in the competition – and the Milan forward, though he could not resist a sarcastic quip.

"The first impression that I had, I remember a little bit my friend, my dear friend Ibrahimovic, had this incredible ability to pull back in the air, you know, and Erling is quite similar on that," Guardiola added with a smile.

"He is elastic, flexible and to have that ability to make the contact to put it in the net. He is mature, and he has that flexibility."

The game marked Guardiola's 150th Champions League match as a manager, and he brought up his 95th win. Only two managers have won more games in the competition’s history – Alex Ferguson (102) and Carlo Ancelotti (100).

However, it was not an easy ride, with City performing well below their level until Dortmund took the lead. Indeed, their two goals came with their first two shots on target.

"We had a lot of problems to get our rhythm, we were so passive, our movements to be aggressive," explained Guardiola, who compared the match to the last time City met Dortmund, in the Champions League quarter-finals in April 2021.

"Yes, we struggled, we played in the wrong gear. We are who we are, win or lose, the way we played in the last 30 minutes, when we realised we were 1-0 down. We gave it another rhythm.

"The Champions League doesn't wait, it doesn't forgive you. They defended really well, hopefully we can learn the lesson for Saturday, against one of the toughest opponents we've had in the last few years against Wolves, and hopefully it will help us against Dortmund in the [return match]."

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