Manchester City asserted their authority in the Champions League and secured a 3-1 victory against FC Copenhagen in the first leg of the last-16 tie. 

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

The question looming over the encounter was whether Copenhagen, having been dormant for two months since their triumphant group stage performances against Manchester United and Galatasaray, could match the relentless pace set by the Citizens. Manchester City stormed into action with nearly 80 percent possession in the early stages.

Kevin De Bruyne set the tone with a clinical finish in the 10th minute, leaving Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara with no chance. The home side, however, capitalised on a rare lapse from City, as Magnus Mattsson marked his debut with a spectacular strike, momentarily leveling the playing field.

Despite a brief setback with Jack Grealish’s injury, City regained composure before the break, with Bernardo Silva restoring their lead. The Copenhagen goalkeeper, Grabara denied De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku spectacularly in the second half.

As the clock ticked into stoppage time, Phil Foden sealed the deal with his 15th goal of the season, securing a crucial two-goal cushion for Manchester City ahead of the second leg. Foden’s goal extended City’s unbeaten run in European competitions to an impressive 21 games.

Reflecting on the match, De Bruyne acknowledged Copenhagen’s efforts but emphasised City’s missed opportunities. “I think in the second half we created many chances, and I think we could have scored more,” said the Belgian maestro.

The stage is now set for the return leg at the Etihad Stadium on March 6, where Copenhagen faces an uphill battle to overturn the deficit.