THERE was a half-time hooking for homecoming hero Erling Haaland. 

There was a fourth penalty miss of the year from Riyad Mahrez – a 25th Manchester City failure from the spot during Pep Guardiola’s reign. 

Mahrez missed from the penalty spot as City were held to a goalless draw

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Mahrez missed from the penalty spot as City were held to a goalless drawCredit: Reuters
Kobel denied Mahrez with a good stop as he guessed the right way and saved well

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Kobel denied Mahrez with a good stop as he guessed the right way and saved wellCredit: Getty
Haaland could not score on his return to Dortmund before being taken off at half-time

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Haaland could not score on his return to Dortmund before being taken off at half-timeCredit: Getty
Haaland was subbed at the break after suffering a cut on his elbow

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Haaland was subbed at the break after suffering a cut on his elbowCredit: Getty
Moukoko had Dortmund's best chance of the match but it was easily saved by Ederson

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Moukoko had Dortmund’s best chance of the match but it was easily saved by EdersonCredit: AP
Dortmund held their own against the Premier League champions

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Dortmund held their own against the Premier League championsCredit: Getty

And a third straight away game without a goal for the Premier League champions.

This match did not mean the world to Manchester City – as they were already assured of progress to the Champions League knock-out stages and a point confirms top spot. 

But anyone who felt that City without Haaland would simply steamroller their way through England and Europe this season is having to think again. 

Here at European football’s greatest noise factory, the place Haaland left this summer for the Etihad, City were outplayed for long spells and their Norwegian big-game hunter was muzzled by his old mates before Guardiola substituted him at the break. 

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Dortmund’s experienced World Cup-winning skipper Mats Hummels enjoyed the chance to keep Haaland on an unusually tight leash for the 45 minutes Guardiola gave him. 

That substitution would not have been a punishment for Haaland, Guardiola is managing his minutes, aware that he suffered from hamstring injuries while at Dortmund last season. 

But he isn’t infallible or invincible, as it may have seemed at times during his early-season rampage. 

Mahrez’s second-half penalty was well saved by Gregor Kobel and it was a rare sight on goal for a strong City side against a Dortmund team which has hardly been setting the Bundesliga alight this term.    

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Dortmund are through to the knock-out stages thanks to this draw and nobody will fancy a visit to the atmospheric old bearpit of the Westfalenstadion. 

City, who have been scoring bagfuls and boast a 100 per cent record at home this season, have not been looking like world-beaters on their travels. 

They will head to Leicester on Saturday desperate to put that right and head back to the Premier League summit, at least temporarily. 

There was only shrill whistling from Dortmund’s vast Yellow Wall when Haaland emerged for the pre-match kickabout – like 25,000 angry bees voicing their displeasure. 

Over the PA system, they played You’ll Never Walk Alone – Dortmund’s anthem as well as Liverpool’s, although many of City’s fans probably thought the hosts were on a wind-up.

Guardiola gave a debut to his German back-up keeper Stefan Ortega and John Stones was handed a first start since limping out of England’s clash with Germany last month – though at right-back, where Gareth Southgate would probably still prefer him to Trent Alexander-Arnold. 

It was a thunderous start from Dortmund, on and off the pitch, the great wall of sound from the Sudtribune hammering away at the eardrums and seeming to propel the home team forward. 

This is some place to watch football, probably the best in Europe. What a place for Bellingham to learn his trade, what a support base for the young Brummie to be adored by. And they do. 

For a while City were run ragged – Youssooufa Moukoko drilled wide, Julian Brandt was denied by a fine Stones challenge, Joao Cancelo was skinned by Karim Adeyemi, conceding a free-kick which Brandt pinged wide.    

Then Adeyemi forced a scooped save from Ortega.  

He had one attempt on goal but did not manage any efforts on target

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He had one attempt on goal but did not manage any efforts on target

It was loud but they only really cranked the amp up to eleven when Mats Hummels robbed Haaland with a sliding tackle, then blocked off a Riyad Mahrez cross, aimed at the Norwegia, with a diving headed clearance.  

Emre Can soon clattered Haaland as he bore down on goal and the Wall showed its former hero no sympathy.  

Dortmund should have scored when Adeyemi’s low cross picked out Moukoko but the 17-year-old shot wide.

When Nathan Ake headed over from a Phil Foden free-kick in injury-time, it was as close as City came to first-half goal. 

Haaland hadn’t really had a sniff and then, as the players emerged, his number went up – Bernardo Silva coming on and Julian Alvarez switching from the wing to centre-forward. 

Bellingham was driving Dortmund on from midfield, with some surging runs, but Foden skied a decent opportunity from a Bernardo cut-back. 

Bernardo was exquisite cunning was making a real difference for City and it was his pass which split the Dortmund defence, allowing Foden to cut back.

Ilkay Gundogan miskicked but Mahrez was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Can.

It was a surprise to see the Algerian retain spot-kick duties after his recent miss in Copenhagen but his effort was saved by Gregor Kobel, the Swiss keeper diving low to his right and sending the Yellow Wall berserk.

Alvarez had a snap-shot well saved by Kobel but Foden took a horribly heavy touch when he should have snaffled the rebound. 

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And that was that for City.

It didn’t really matter but there were signs of vulnerability to cheer those who felt they might sweep the board this season.

Haaland was taken off at half-time after just 13 touches in 45 minutes

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Haaland was taken off at half-time after just 13 touches in 45 minutes



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