Manchester City’s Champions League title defence continues with a routine-looking knockout tie against Group A surprise package FC Copenhagen following Monday’s last-16 draw.
Pep Guardiola’s side reigned supreme in the competition’s group stage, sealing knockout qualification as the only side alongside Real Madrid to win all six group fixtures.
While things are not going well for the three-time consecutive Premier League champions on the domestic front following a 2-2 home draw against Crystal Palace, their European campaign has been exceptional.
Even without talismanic playmaker Kevin de Bruyne, the Cityzens averaged three goals per game during a flawless group-stage journey, consolidating their status as the continental superpower.
Last season’s treble-winning side surged to the top of the UEFA coefficient standings with 141 points, setting themselves up nicely for the upcoming tie against Copenhagen.
Man City are in pole position to avenge Manchester United’s European fiasco as they take on a side that ended the Red Devils’ Champions League participation against the odds.
Despite being given minimal chances of continuing their European run beyond the winter, the reigning Superliga holders defied expectations to leave Galatasaray and United in their wake.
A runner-up finish in Group A behind Bundesliga juggernauts Bayern Munich fired Copenhagen into the Champions League knockouts for the first time since 2010/11
But this is likely to be the end of the road for them.
Mikel Arteta’s team enjoyed an impressive group-stage campaign, finishing four points clear of second-placed PSV Eindhoven en route to securing their first knockout tie in seven years.
For the first time in the post-Arsene Wenger era, the Gunners will feature in the Champions League round of 16 and look well-positioned to advance to the competition’s quarter-finals for the first time since 2009/10.
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