UCL: Dominant Man City beat Copenhagen in first leg of Round of 16

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The image of Phil Foden shows a moment from a match between Manchester City and FC Copenhagen on Feb 13, 2024. — x/ManCity
The image of Phil Foden shows a moment from a match between Manchester City and FC Copenhagen on Feb 13, 2024. — x/ManCity

Manchester City secured a resounding 3-1 victory against FC Copenhagen in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at Parken Stadium. 

The English champions, riding high on an impressive 11-game winning streak, showcased their dominance on the European stage.

The match kicked off with Manchester City asserting their authority, enjoying nearly 80% possession in the early stages. Kevin De Bruyne, the midfield maestro, set the tone with a clinical low finish in the 10th minute, highlighting City's attacking skill. However, a momentary lapse allowed Copenhagen's Magnus Mattsson to mark his debut with a stunning strike from outside the box, momentarily equalising the score.

Undeterred, City swiftly regained control, with Bernardo Silva flicking a perfectly timed shot beyond Copenhagen's goalkeeper, Kamil Grabara, before half-time. Despite an injury forcing Jack Grealish off the field, the seamless substitution of Jeremy Doku maintained City's offensive onslaught in the Champions League.

Copenhagen, relying on a winter break and lacking match sharpness, struggled to contain City's relentless attack. Ederson's poor clearance, leading to Mattsson's goal, was a rare moment of vulnerability for the English champions.

As the clock ticked down, Phil Foden sealed the deal for Manchester City with a powerful strike in second-half stoppage time. Foden's goal not only secured the win but also extended City's unbeaten run in European competitions to an impressive 21 games.

Kevin De Bruyne acknowledged Copenhagen's game, saying, "We've played here a couple of times, the atmosphere is great, and you know they're going to try and do everything." However, he also highlighted City's missed opportunities, saying, "I think in the second half, we created many chances, and I think we could have scored more."

With the second leg scheduled for March 6 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City aim to build on their two-goal cushion. 

The English champions remain on track to replicate last season's historic treble of Champions League, Premier League, and FA Cup victories, showcasing their unwavering focus and determination in the pursuit of football excellence.