Copenhagen 1-3 Man City: Player ratings as reigning champions ease to first leg victory

  • Man City will take a first-leg lead back to the Etihad after a 3-1 victory over Copenhagen
  • Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden won it for the world champions
  • Magnus Mattsson gave Man City a scare but Pep Guardiola's side eased to a win
Man City secured a first leg victory
Man City secured a first leg victory / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Manchester City secured a 3-1 victory in their Champions League round of 16 first leg clash with Copenhagen on Tuesday evening.

The reigning champions made a lightning quick start to proceedings and Kevin De Bruyne produced a fine finish to open the scoring after just ten minutes. However, completely out of the blue, Magnus Mattsson netted a sublime equalister before Bernardo Silva put Man City back in front at the end of the first half.

Man City eventually grabbed a third in second-half stoppage time after a flurry of late chances, Phil Foden netting after some neat work with De Bruyne down the right flank and handing Pep Guardiola's side a commanding lead ahead of the return leg.

How the game unfolded

Copenhagen had already proven their credentials against Manchester opposition during the Champions League group stage, but welcoming the world champions to Denmark was likely to be a much trickier proposition.

The pattern of the game was set early on as Copenhagen sunk into a deep 4-5-1 out of possession, but they couldn't prevent Man City from taking the lead after ten minutes. Foden's smart through ball was latched on to by De Bruyne, who fizzed home an exquisite finish from inside the penalty area.

Silva came close to doubling Man City's lead, firing a cross near post that Denis Vavro headed on to his own crossbar rather fortuitously. Some last-ditch defending ensured that Copenhagen kept themselves in the game, with the hosts taking advantage of an Ederson error to produce a surprise equaliser in the 34th minute.

The Brazilian's miscued pass gifted Copenhagen a rare opportunity, Mattsson curling in a sensational effort from the edge of the box after Mohamed Elyounoussi's initial effort was blocked.

However, Man City would restore their lead on the stroke of half-time. De Bruyne closed down a Copenhagen clearance and the ball fell kindly to Silva just eight yards out, with the Portuguese flicking the ball beyond Kamil Grabara with little fuss.

De Bruyne almost put the visitors out of sight just after half-time but Grabara got down quick to rebuff the Belgian's venomous near-post effort. Substitute Jeremy Doku also tested the Polish goalkeeper, who met the winger's long-range effort with an impressive stop.

Erling Haaland uncharacteristically spurned two wonderful late opportunities to add a third, but the Norwegian would be bailed out by the relentless Foden, who rattled home from close range after a delightful one-two with De Bruyne in stoppage time.

Man City player ratings (4-3-3)

Bernardo Silva, Kamil Grabara
Silva produced a wonderful effort to restore City's lead / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Ederson - 5/10 - The Brazilian's mis-hit pass gifted Copenhagen a route back into the match. Untested for the remainder of the game.

RB: Kyle Walker - 7/10 - Seldom had to use his explosive pace to cover defensively and offered some good attacking threat down the right.

CB: John Stones - 7/10 - Spent the majority of the game in midfield, stepping forward when his side were in possession. Neat and tidy in central areas.

CB: Ruben Dias - 7/10 - Rarely called upon, especially after Andreas Cornelius was introduced from the bench.

LB: Nathan Ake - 8/10 - The Dutchman did everything he needed to do in what was a quiet game for Man City defensively. Produced one excellent headed clearance to deny Cornelius at the far post.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne - 9/10 - Produced a wonderful finish to put Man City ahead, while also forcing his side's second through some determined pressing. An effortless display from the influential midfielder, who grabbed a late assist to put the tie beyond doubt.

CM: Rodri - 7/10 - Hoovered up possession in midfield and kept Man City ticking along nicely.

CM: Bernardo Silva - 8/10 - A deft finish restored Man City's lead heading into the break, with the Portugal international regularly interchanging with Foden on the right wing. Picked up some useful spaces in opposition territory.

RW: Phil Foden - 9/10 - Threaded a perfectly weighted through ball to De Bruyne for Man City's opener and was involved in his side's best moments. Netted a wonderful late third and produced one volleyed backheel pass that was worth the admission fee alone.

ST: Erling Haaland - 6/10 - A quiet evening for the Norwegian, who was rarely involved in the final third. Couldn't get his name on the scoresheet despite two good opportunities late in the game.

LW: Jack Grealish - 6/10 - Substituted after just 21 minutes due to injury. Visibly dejected when departing the pitch after being handed an increasingly rare start.


SUB: Jeremy Doku (21' for Grealish) - 6/10 - An unconvincing performance after coming on for Grealish, with the Belgian's speed and trickery never causing Copenhagen too many issues.

SUB: Matheus Nunez (78' for Silva) - 6/10

Subs not used: Stefan Ortega (GK), Scott Carson (GK), Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis, Jacob Wright, Mahamadou Susoho, Oscar Bobb, Julian Alvarez.


Pep Guardiola - 8/10 - The scoreline could have been even more convincing but that can be the Spaniard's only frustration with his side's performance. In complete control throughout and have all but booked their quarter-final spot.

Player of the match - Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)