City had seemed set to be heading to Germany with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 when Marco Reus cancelled out Kevin De Bruyne’s opener with six minutes remaining at the Etihad Stadium.
Dortmund arrived in Manchester amid an indifferent run of form and struggling to keep their hopes of Champions League qualification via the Bundesliga alive.
Yet even though their former City academy star Jadon Sancho was sat at home injured, they played with a determination not to allow the remainder of their season under interim manager Edin Terzic to drift away.
They played plenty of composed football and, although City kept the dangerous Erling Haaland relatively quiet, England international Jude Bellingham was a constant threat.
Dortmund will count themselves unfortunate to see Bellingham’s equaliser ruled out and will be cursing Foden’s late strike but Terzic felt his players still performed creditably and remained optimistic they could turn the tie around in the second leg.
He said: “It’s the Champions League, the quarter-finals and Manchester City and if you make mistakes they will cost you.
“But we are very satisfied with the performance. It’s annoying not to come away with a draw but there are a lot of positives.
“We know Manchester City will play this type of football in every match, so the principles will not change a lot. We know we will have space and have the conviction we can go through.”
City were given a penalty in strange circumstances on the half-hour after Rodri went down clutching his face following a challenge with Emre Can, although it was overturned by VAR.
The Premier League champions-in-waiting then had a huge let-off when Bellingham’s equaliser, after closing down Ederson’s attempted clearance, was controversially ruled out for a foul.
Reus latched on to Haaland’s through ball to stun City but De Bruyne, inevitably, was involved in the decisive moment when his cross eventually fell to Foden, who stroked home.
With an away goal advantage, Dortmund is likely to give Manchester city a very big assignment when they welcome them on Wednesday. They will look for the first goal and run back to the defense line.
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