Man City draw Copenhagen, Haaland benched

Man City draw Copenhagen, Haaland benched

Manchester City failed to score and had Sergio Gomez sent off in a frustrating VAR-dominated goalless draw with Copenhagen.

Despite the draw, City qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Two disputed rulings in a dramatic start set the tone for the evening.

Rodri’s excellent 25-yard shot for City was ruled out after Riyad Mahrez was penalized for handling. In contrast, the visitors benefited from being granted a penalty; when the ball struck home defender Nicolai Boilesen on the arm as he competed for a corner with Manuel Akanji.

To the joy of a boisterous Parken Stadium crowd, Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara spectacularly stopped Mahrez’s spot-kick. However, Guardiola’s team saw Sergio Gomez sent off for a professional foul on 19-year-old striker Hakon Haraldsson five minutes later.

The stalemate still guaranteed City’s place in the last 16 of the Champions League for another year after Sevilla later failed to beat Borussia Dortmund.

Guardiola left Haaland on the bench for the first time this season. It’s no coincidence that City’s first blank of the season came in the first game that their marquee summer signing did not start.

Read more: Haaland reveals bizarre diet behind roaring start to City career

Explaining his decision not to play Haaland, Guardiola said during his post-match press conference, “He finished the game against Southampton so, so tired and didn’t recover well.

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

Manchester City go to Anfield on Sunday to face Liverpool.

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