No average Joe
Graeme Souness says Manchester City could have lost heavily to Borussia Dortmund without Joe Hart.
Last Updated: 04/10/12 9:39am
Graeme Souness heaped praise on Joe Hart after the Manchester City keeper produced a string of fine saves against Borussia Dortmund.
City grabbed a 1-1 draw from their Champions League clash with the German double winners thanks to a last-minute penalty from Mario Balotelli. However, Souness says Roberto Mancini's side have England keeper Hart to thank for keeping them in the game up until that point.
"Joe Hart was the difference," Souness told Sky Sports. "City could easily have lost by three or four goals without him.
"It was a fantastic display. Is he the best around? You have to factor in Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon but this was Joe Hart's night. He was stopping things going into the back of the net he wasn't entitled to. If he was beaten on three or four occasions no one would point fingers and say he had a poor night. He was phenomenal.
"He's had a super night and I think he was extremely modest when he said the defence played well. The defence didn't play well. They left him open time and time again. Thankfully for the City players Hart was brilliant."
However, Michael Ballack believes Dortmund will be frustrated not to have left the Etihad with three points after bossing the game for large periods.
"Dortmund will be really disappointed to concede a goal in the last two minutes, especially with their fantastic second half performance," said the former Germany captain.
"They dominated the game, especially in the second half, and created more chances than Manchester City. They deserved to win the game."
Ballack was also critical of the referee for awarding a penalty for handball, when Sergio Aguero hit the ball against Neven Subotic's arm from close range.
"It's always unlucky if you concede a penalty like this - it's difficult to do anything form a close distance," he said. "Where could he put his hands?
"But Dortmund have to carry on and after seeing this performance I'm sure they'll do something in this group."
Ray Wilkins was also impressed with Dortmund, who scooped the German league and cup last season.
"City came up against an exceptionally good side," said Wilkins. "Technically Dortmund were fantastic, they were extremely fit, they put City under lots of pressure, they pressed high and had a real go at them.
"I've not seen a team - apart from Barcelona or Real Madrid - go away from home and attack the opposition in the way they did.
"They were extremely quick on the counter-attack and made it tough on City."