Linesman lands Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland's signature
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Linesman lands Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland's signature

Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund is being pursued by a number of Europe's top clubs, but after Manchester City's 2-1 Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory on Tuesday, it was the assistant referee who secured the Norwegian's signature.

Haaland did not add to his incredible Champions League scoring record, but he did set up Marco Reus for the Germans' crucial away goal. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden goals, however, gave City a slim lead going into the second leg next week.

After the game, one of the linesmen, Octavian Sovre, pursued Haaland in the tunnel for an autograph.

"They told me, I didn't see it. Maybe he's a fan of Haaland," said City manager Pep Guardiola.

During the match, Romanian officials were also involved in a couple of contentious incidents.

After a VAR analysis, City's penalty was reversed, while Dortmund's Jude Bellingham had a goal unfairly ruled out for raising his boot to beat Ederson to the ball in the first half.

Guardiola, on the other hand, defended their results.

"The referees were brilliant. The game was not a problem.

"It was a penalty and after they saw on VAR it was not. After Bellingham, the action from the leg is higher than expected.

"The referees and the linesmen were correct so it was perfect."

After a Champions League group game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was postponed in December, UEFA reprimanded Sovre for "inappropriate conduct."

After claims of bias against fourth official Sebastian Coltescu, the match was halted for 24 hours.

Coltescu was accused of referring to Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo from Cameroon as "black," or "negru" in Romanian.

Coltescu was cleared of prejudice by UEFA, but he was barred from officiating for the remainder of the season.

Coltescu and Sovre were both required to participate in a training program.

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