Dortmund brushed off poor Bundesliga form to come within a whisker of a draw at the Etihad Stadium until Phil Foden’s last-gasp goal sealed a 2-1 first-leg win for Pep Guardiola’s City.
“It is brutally annoying that we conceded a goal like that right at the end, now we have to win the second leg,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus, who had equalised six minutes from the final whistle to cancel out Kevin de Bruyne’s first-half goal.
“It’s very bitter for us, but everything is still open and we believe we can progress.”
Guardiola admitted the Premier League leaders “felt the pressure” of expectations in the Champions League having failed to get past the quarter-finals in each of his four previous seasons in charge.
In contrast, Dortmund threw off the shackles of inconsistent Bundesliga form which has left them fifth in the table and, more worryingly, seven points from the Champions League places next season.
“Of course, it was a different game than in the Bundesliga,” said Reus.
“We played at a very high tactical level throughout.
“Manchester City had a lot of possession, but we stayed calm and waited for our chances.”