Guardiola 'really satisfied' with draw at Copenhagen as Man City turn focus to Liverpool

City advance to Champions League last 16 after a stalemate in Denmark having played an hour with 10 men

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he was "really satisfied" after his side earned a point away at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday having played an hour of the Champions League match with 10 men.

Following last week's 5-0 win over the Danish club at the Etihad, City were expected to ease to another victory but it proved a frustrating evening, dominated by VAR, for the Premier League champions.

Rodri had a brilliant long-range strike disallowed after VAR spotted a handball by Riyad Mahrez in the build-up, and the review system again intervened to award City a penalty, only for Mahrez's effort to be saved by Kamil Grabara.

VAR was then called into action to confirm a red card for City left-back Sergio Gomez in the 30th minute for pulling back Hakon Arnar Haraldsson as the last man, harming the visitors attacking ambitions at the Parken Stadium.

In the end, City had to settle for a goalless draw as Copenhagen became the first team to stop Guardiola's side from scoring this season. Still, the point was enough for City to progress to the last 16 after Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla played out a 1-1 draw later in the evening.

“Really satisfied – playing one hour 10 v 11 in Europe and not losing is really good,” Guardiola said. “We are going to recover, prepare for the next games, go to Dortmund and try to get results there and against Sevilla, to finish first in the group stage.

“After the situations – goal disallowed, penalties, sending off – the game changed and especially playing 10 against 11 for an hour is so difficult but we didn't concede much. The players gave absolutely everything – it’s a good point and we take it.”

Before returning to Champions League duty later this month, City have two Premier League games to focus on, including Sunday's trip to Liverpool for a clash between, until this season, the two best teams in England.

Copenhagen v Man City player ratings

While City appear in good shape to defend their title, sitting one point behind leaders Arsenal, Liverpool have endured a disappointing start to the season and languish down in 10th, 13 points behind the champions.

Having played the early game on Tuesday, City returned to Manchester the same evening, and Guardiola said the next few days would be about resting and recovering. One notable absence from City's team in Copenhagen was Erling Haaland, who was on the bench for the first time, with Guardiola surely having one eye on Sunday's match against Liverpool after admitting the Norwegian striker wasn't in the best shape to play.

“Yesterday was not good, today a little better but not perfect, so we decide not to take the risk,” Guardiola said of Haaland.

“We travel right now, tomorrow regeneration, one day off to clean our mind because for two weeks we didn't have one day off. And then we have a few days to prepare for the game against Liverpool.”

Updated: October 12, 2022, 6:26 AM
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