A Craig Bellamy brace and a mater-class in counter-attacking saw City comfortably through to the next round.
The same eleven that played in Denmark also took to the field at Eastlands, but the came started well for the away side, as they looked comfortable on the ball even though they failed to really trouble Given in this spell.
After several Bellamy off-side`s, City began to get a foothold in the game. Several attacks down the right flank put pressure on the Copenhagen defence but failed to produce anything concrete. However down the left-flank their was more to cheer about as Zabaleta went close on the 15th minute. After a great move by Dunne, Wright-Phillips and Robinho, the Argentinean was put down the left of the penalty box but instead of playing the ball across he elected to shoot, and Christianson gathered with ease.
From then City began to look dangerous. Two chances inside a minute could have left the fans in raptures but instead left frustration painted on their faces. Firstly, Bellamy crossed from the right, which connected with the head of Robinho but from a tight angle the ball could only find the cross-bar and the keeper managed to keep the ball out somehow. However almost immediately City attacked again. Robinho showed his magical feet as he moved past several players inside the Copenhagen box before trying to roll the ball past Jorgensen, who appeared to handle the ball, but the ref seemed to have played on and Robinho`s strike flew straight at the keeper and from a possible penalty, City had to make do with a corner.
Richard Dunne`s clumsy tackles where back, as Copenhagen were left appealing for a penalty when N`doye went to ground but what ever contact was made, the striker made it so theatrical and the ref turned a blind eye.
Two long shots from Zabaleta and Robinho both found Christiansen, as the hosts looked to break the deadlock. However it took till added time in the first half for City to have their best chance. A nice one-two with Robinho and Bellamy left the Welshman in the clear but from an acute angle, Bellamy`s scuffed shot could only find the post and with that the half-time whistle blew.
Halftime: Manchester City 0 FC Copenhagen 0
Copenhagen begin this half stronger as well, with Almeida ending a good passing move by curling a shot over Given`s bar. A free-kick taken by Bellamy also allowed Christiansen his first touch of the ball as he easily palmed the Welshmen`s free kick.
Manchester City again came agonizingly close to breaking the deadlock shortly after. A great run again by Robinho set up SWP, who elected to pass the ball across the goal instead of shoot, and the ball trickled inches away from Ireland`s left peg.
Another load of off-sides for Bellamy followed, but it wasn`t long before he got it right and City finally took the lead. Zabaleta dinked the ball down the left and the race between Bellamy and the defender proved too much for the Copenhagen player, as Bellamy cut sides and out muscled the defender and as a conclusion fires the ball past Christianson. A great goal to match a great performance by Bellamy.
City found the much needed goal but they could doubled it within seconds. Neat passing by City led the ball to the feet of Robinho who from around 6 yards out with only the keeper to beat, managed to somehow skim the outside of the post and the chance went begging.
However who needs Robinho when you have your own fiery Welsh bloke. Although I say that, it was neat work from the Brazilian who left a defender for dead before crossing the ball across goal, to Bellamy who steadied himself before drilling to the top right. Brilliant goal! Maybe I`ll take Bellamy and Robinho yes?
Bellamy then got himself in the right position to head of the line from a defending corner, and Given was then called into action as he produced a great save, but from his parry, Almedia was free at the far post, but the ball hit his shin and went wide.
Robinho was really up for this now, and almost in identical style, he found Bellamy from the by-line, but this time a defender got the block off to deny what would have been Bellamy`s hat-trick.
2-0, but you always knew it wasn`t going to be that easy. Martin Vingaard drove a good shot passed a despairing Given to give the away team an ever so slight chance, but the whistle blew shortly after and City`s dream for Istanbul is slowly but surely becoming reality.
Fulltime: Manchester City 2 FC Copenhagen 1
Given is top. He takes pressure of the back four just by being there. No chance with the goal, but the battle was already over
Improved performance and has a great cross on him. 7
– Aaron Collins
I had my doubts about him, but he is a really good defender for us, and today was no exception. 7
– Aaron Collins
Dunne –8 — Some of the (bigger) Copenhagen lads got introduced to the Dunney Monster tonight. Oh yes!
Richards –7 — I think the UEFA obseervers told the ref he was pinching 15 yards on throwins. He was, actually and needed pulling back. There is some real skill in the Rory Delap throw-in. And I applaud any efforts to get it right for us. Micah is a good ten feet short of where Delap can put it with accuracy. It is about skill not strength.
Robinho 8. was up for this caused havoc all night made the second for Bellamy, hit the post twice missed a sitter.
– Buzz Lightyear
Ireland – 8 another great performance
Kompany 7 Tough tackling, involved in the some good moves.
– Buzz Lightyear
Zabaleta 7. asked to play that left side, takes no prisoners, good performance. Is this his best position.
SWP — I’ve been saying this for a while: “If he was Brazilian he’d be worth £35M.” He’s a Blue though. This makes him priceless.
BELLAMY.9 gave City the lead, led the line brilliantly left and right, then showed he can score with both feet, dedicated his goals and game to his cousin who died the day before.
– Buzz Lightyear
Elano – 6 should have been on 20 minutes earlier, when Zab was tiring
Thanks to everyone who got involved in rating the players. Remember Sunday’s game against West Ham is going to be a cracker! Observe with concentration and get involved!