Erling Haaland pursued his former club when Manchester City were forced to score from a goal on Wednesday to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 and set one foot in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Norwegian had been kept remarkably quiet but only needed a small glimpse of goal to extend his scoring streak to six games when his telescoping left leg pierced the winner six minutes before time.
Haaland has now scored 13 goals in his first eight competitive appearances for City since taking his £51 million ($58 million) buyout clause from the German giants.
Jude Bellingham had given Dortmund the lead 11 minutes into the second half.
But a triple substitution woke City from their slumber and two goals in four minutes turned the game around.
John Stones’ pile driver from outside the penalty area was leveled using poor goalkeeping by Alexander Meyer.
Haaland then took center stage by somehow stretching to meet Joao Cancelo’s cross and beat Meyer on his nearest post.
The win gives City a three-point lead at the top of Group G, with Dortmund still in second place after FC Copenhagen and Sevilla drew a 0-0 draw in the Danish capital.
Bellingham admitted on the eve of the game that he had no idea how to stop Haaland.
But the Germans did a good job of choking the serve to their former star striker, as the first 45 minutes passed with barely any action in goal.
The visitors were also the first to threaten when the first big chance came five minutes into the second half.
A sharp counter-attack fed Marco Reus into the area and he left another former Dortmund man Manuel Akanji on the ground before deflecting his shot inches wide of the far post.
City did not heed the wake-up call, because four minutes later Dortmund broke out of the deadlock.
Bellingham is strongly linked with a return to the Premier League, with City, Manchester United and Liverpool reportedly interested.
The England international was quick to put a stop to speculation about his future on Tuesday and may have added a few million more to his price tag as he perfectly timed his run to head into Reus’ crotch.
Guardiola reacted immediately with a triple substitution, as Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez were called up to add even more trickery in the final third.
Foden almost created the opportunity that Haaland had been waiting for all night with a targeted run into the penalty area and a low cross that required a brilliant final interception from Mats Hummels.
When City’s equalizing goal arrived it came from an unlikely source as Stones fired in his first Champions League goal since 2017 from outside the box.
Haaland couldn’t take the headlines, however, as Cancelo’s inventive cross with the outside of his right foot was pounced on by City’s giant number nine, who lifted his foot to head height to tap the ball home.