Phil Foden's stoppage time winner ensured that Manchester City would leave the Etihad Stadium with a lucky 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund, with poor officiating squarely in the limelight.
Pep Guardiola's side struggled to get into their usual rhythm and Foden was wasteful before finding the winner just a couple of minutes after Dortmund have equalised through Marco Reus. The winner came following a sublime ball from Kevin de Bruyne -- the scorer of City's opener who coincidentally signed a four-year extension after the match -- that was tapped into Foden's unchallenged path by Ilkay Gundogan.
The drama that would define the game, however, had occurred far earlier.
As Dortmund pressed for an equaliser, livewire Jude Bellingham closed down Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson and cleanly won the ball that he would then poke into an empty net. However, the 17-year-old was denied that chance by the Romanian official's whistle for a foul.
As replays would show, there was no claim that Ederson had been fouled, but VAR were powerless to intervene as the whistle had gone before the goal was scored. There are even arguments that Ederson could have been penalised for a foul as the follow-through on his attempted clearance caught Belligham on the bottom of his foot.
England international Jadon Sancho, one of the visitors' notable absences, could not temper his frustration, tweeting mid-game: "This ref needs checking."
However, even though they will be without the Yellow Wall, Dortmund can capitalise on their away goal and the winning side's Catalan coach's praise of the losing side showed that he was aware of the threats they possess.
"The rest of them play that system and the quality of [Mahmoud] Dahoud, [Jude] Bellingham and, of course, the pace of the people up front – the quality is there. We know it was," Pep said. But when you want to press they play long balls. They play long balls to Haaland – Haaland is a bastard. Link-up [play] is always perfect and they have the pace so we knew it was not easy to control them."