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FC Copenhagen 2-2 Man City

Highlights: FC Copenhagen 2-2 Man City

By Mandeep Sanghera

Manchester City twice surrendered the lead as they drew with FC Copenhagen in their last-32 Uefa Cup first-leg tie.

City were gifted the lead when keeper Jesper Christiansen shockingly allowed a tame Nedum Onuoha shot to squirm out of his grasp and into the net.

But Ailton Almeida punished some poor City marking by heading in a corner.

Stephen Ireland's half-volley restored City's lead but Martin Vingaard was left free to head in an injury-time equaliser from Dame N'Doye's cross.

Hughes had mixed emotions after the draw

Mark Hughes's side only had themselves to blame for allowing the Danish team to salvage an unlikely draw and further expose their defensive fragility as well as their meek away form.

Hughes had taken no chances for the game by fielding a strong line-up, despite Copenhagen having not played competitively since mid-December and still being in their 10-week winter break.

Nevertheless, it was a match for strong hearts as the home crowd created a vociferous atmosphere in the wind and snow at the Parken Stadium.

City have done little to suggest this season that they had the qualities for the occasion, especially away from home, but started off by showing they do have a streak of substance to go with flashes of swagger.

Shaun Wright-Phillips had the first noteworthy chance when he received a pass from Robinho and shifted to the right to make space for a shot which was blocked by keeper Christiansen.


William Kvist angled a drive over as Copehagen tried to respond but the Danes were looking rusty.

Their lack of competitive action only aided City's control of the match and the horrendous howler from Christiansen gifted City the lead.

City's grasp on the game only tightened after that and Pablo Zabaleta ended a run by shooting wide just before the break when Craig Bellamy was waiting for a pass in front of goal.

Copenhagen had beaten Manchester United 1-0 in the group stages of the 2006 Champions League but were hardly posing a threat.

However, they equalised as City's frailty and lack of marking was exposed with Ailton heading in a corner.

Ireland was disappointed not to beat Copenhagen

Ireland quickly put City ahead again when he powered in a Wright-Phillips cross after Copenhagen's defence was this time found wanting.

City should have added to their lead by taking advantage of several counter-attacks but Copenhagen sensed City's vulnerability at the back and piled on some late pressure.

The visitors were unconvincing as they clung on to their lead before eventually wilting in injury-time as an unmarked Vingaard headed in to Hughes's apparent dismay.

FC Copenhagen: Christiansen, Pospech, Laursen, Antonsson, Wendt, Kvist (Vingaard 60), Kristensen, Norregaard (Gronkjaer 70), Hutchinson, Almeida, Santin (Ndoye 59). Subs Not Used: Coe, Niclas Jensen, Nordstrand, Jorgensen.

Goals: Almeida 56, Vingaard 90.

Man City: Given, Onuoha, Richards, Dunne, Bridge, Zabaleta, Kompany, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Robinho (Caicedo 89), Bellamy. Subs Not Used: Hart, Elano, Vassell, Garrido, Evans, Weiss.

Booked: Bellamy, Richards.

Goals: Onuoha 29, Ireland 61.

Att: 30,159

Ref: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips on 6.77 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Hughes remains upbeat after draw
19 Feb 09 |  Man City

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