Manchester City have qualified for the Champions League round of 16 for the 10th consecutive season despite a goalless draw with Copenhagen on Tuesday (11 October) night.
Pep Guardiola’s are top of Group G with 10 points, securing a place in the competition’s knockout stages after Sevilla held Borussia Dortmund to a draw on the same night.
Man City had taken the Danish side to the cleaners when they met at the Etihad Stadium in the first-leg, running out 5-0 winners, but things did not go according to plan at Parken.
Rodri thought he had put the visitors ahead with a well-struck shot 11 minutes into the game, but the goal was rightly chalked off after replays showed that Riyad Mahrez had handled the ball in the build-up.
Man City had a chance to open the scoring from the spot, but the Algerian’s effort was superbly saved by Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.
Despite fielding a relatively young and inexperienced side, the hosts held their own against the Premier League side, and it paid off as a professional foul on Hakon Haraldsson in the 30th minute got Sergio Gomez sent off.
It did not change the proceedings as Man City still dominated for the remainder of the first-half and second-half, but resting some of his key players left Guardiola‘s side toothless.
Erling Haaland was left on the bench for the entirety of the game, while Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden were only introduced with 13 minutes left to play, with their Premier League clash against Liverpool – which they eventually lost – surely on the manager’s mind.
A win against Dortmund later this month will see them finish as group leaders, and they will be looking to go one better this term after getting eliminated in the semi-finals last season.
Man City want to win it all this season, and they are one of the favourites to land the Champions League trophy.
They are also huge favourites to successfully defend their Premier League title despite being second in the table after 10 games.
The Etihad Stadium outfit are four points behind league leaders Arsenal, but many still expect them to catch up with the Gunners and pip all their challengers to the title come May 2023.
They have the needed squad depth to challenge strongly across all competitions, but being without Haaland for some games could prove tricky for them as we saw against Copenhagen.
The Danes are without a win and a goal in four Champions League games so far, with two draws and two losses to their name.
While they are bottom of Group G, they are level on points with Sevilla, and they have a chance of finishing third and advancing to the Europa League last-32 if they manage to get something from their next two games.
Jacob Neestrup’s side are currently seventh in the Danish SuperLiga after 13 games, with five victories, two draws and six defeats under their belt so far.
The Lions are eight points behind leaders Nordsjælland, and will still fancy their chances of successfully defending their title despite their slow start to the season.