Copenhagen 1-3 Man City: Late Phil Foden strike gives Champions League holders complete control of last-16 tie

Bernardo Silva restored Man City’s lead before half-time (AP)
Bernardo Silva restored Man City’s lead before half-time (AP)

Manchester City took complete control of their Champions League last-16 tie as they earned a 3-1 win over Copenhagen in Denmark.

Pep Guardiola’s side are favourites to defend the European title they won for the first time last season, and made the trip for this first leg on a run of ten wins on the bounce in all competitions.

That always looked like being extended to 11 after a rapid start, in which Kevin De Bruyne headed wide a big early chance. It only delayed the inevitable though, with the Belgian firing City in front after just ten minutes, having been played in by a lovely reverse pass from Phil Foden.

Copenhagen looked to be in for a long night, but they were gifted a way back into the match out of nowhere. Having barely been out of their own half, the hosts pounced as Ederson played an awful pass out from the back under no pressure, with Mohamed Elyounoussi’s blocked shot falling for Magnus Mattsson to curl a wonderful finish into the far corner on debut.

The Danish side were level for just 11 minutes though, before normal service was resumed. As the first-half ticked into added-time, De Bruyne lost control of the ball on the edge of the area, but it fell perfectly into the path of Bernardo Silva to flick beyond Kamil Grabara.

A relatively uneventful second-half followed, with City probing for a third goal and Copenhagen unable to mount any sort of real push for a second equaliser. Jeremy Doku, on in the early stages of the match for the injured Jack Grealish, had a shot saved, while Erling Haaland’s looping header clipped the top of the bat.

Haaland then missed two huge opportunities in stoppage-time, before Phil Foden gave City a cushion to take back to Manchester, finishing well after a superb one-two with De Bruyne. No away side has managed to win at the Etihad in the Champions League since Lyon in 2018 - Copenhagen must do so by at least a two-goal margin.