clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sky Blue News: Closing Copenhagen, Erling Update, De Bruyne Dishes, and More...

Thursday Headlines from Bitter and Blue

FC Copenhagen vs Manchester City: UEFA Champions League Photo by Sergei Gapon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Manchester City are back in action in the Premier League as they are set for a Sunday trip to Anfield. Sky Blue News has all the latest to keep you up to date.

Copenhagen vs Man City summary: score, goals and highlights - Champions League 2022/23 - Calum Roche -

Calum has one more look from a busy night for the Video Assistant Referee.

VAR took centre stage in an action-packed first half in Copenhagen. City thought they had taken the lead 11 minutes in with a goal-of-the-season contender from Rodri, only for the strike to be ruled out for handball in the build-up.

The video assistant referee stepped in again moments later to help City win a penalty for another handball, but Riyad Mahrez saw his spot kick saved by home goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.

A busy VAR then asked the referee to have another look at a foul by Sergio Gomez on the edge of the penalty area on the half hour mark, with the on-field official choosing to show the City full back a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

The 10 men more than held their own in the second half, but with Liverpool to come in the Premier League at the weekend and qualification for the knockout stage almost secured, City left top goalscorer Erling Haaland on the bench and saw out the draw.

Match Report: Manchester City Draw Blank in Copenhagen - Manc Pete - Bitter and Blue

Pete reminds us that even though City didn’t prevail, they are still through to the Round of 16.

Manchester City registered their first goalless draw in 22 matches as the blues drew 0-0 in Denmark. Rodri had a goal disallowed and Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty in an eventful match that saw the blues reduced to ten men after 30 minutes. Sergio Gomez received a straight red for his reckless tackle on the edge of the penalty area, which was initially missed by the referee before VAR intervened.

The result still meant City qualified for the last 16 as the other match in their group between Dortmund and Sevilla ended in a 1-1 draw. The blues were favourites to win the match, having thrashed the same opposition 5-0 in Manchester a week earlier. However, they found the home side in determined form to prevent a similar scoreline, and their task was not made easier due to the dismissal of Gomez.

By that point, City should have been in front, had it not been for a dodgy VAR decision and Mahrez reminding City fans what it used to be like before Haaland took penalties. The Norwegian took a place on the bench after his recent goalscoring exploits have seen him already hit 15 Premier League and five Champions League goals by mid-October.

Pep Guardiola gives injury & fitness update on Erling Haaland and two other Man City stars - Michael Plant - Manchester World

To be clear, the Erling update is of the fitness variety. Not an injury.

The Blues dropped their first points in the Champions League this season with a goalless stalemate in Denmark, while City had to play for an hour with 10 men due to a red card shown to Sergio Gomez in the first half.

The young Spaniard pulled back Hakon Arnar Haraldsson as he went to sprint into the box and, after a VAR check at the pitchside monitor, City’s summer signing was dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

It certainly affected the team’s performance, with City not enjoying their usual level of dominance and failing to dictate the pace and tempo of the game. Guardiola also opted to start with Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Haaland on the bench and didn’t introduce the latter even with City in need of a goal.

Pep Guardiola: ‘Erling Braut Haaland is a slight doubt for Liverpool clash’ - Matt Law - Sports Mole

Slight. Like really slight. I mean... there’s literally no chance he sits for this one.

When asked by TV2 whether Haaland would be able to return against Liverpool in the league on Sunday, Guardiola could not guarantee that the striker would feature.

“We will have to see tomorrow, I hope he will be ready,” said the Man City head coach.

Haaland has been in incredible form for the Citizens during the 2022-23 campaign, scoring 20 goals and registering three assists in 13 appearances in all competitions.

The centre-forward has five goals in three Champions League fixtures this term, while he has found the back of the net on 15 occasions in nine appearances in the Premier League.

Man City have won their last three Premier League matches, which has left them in second position in the table on 23 points, one point behind leaders Arsenal, while they are 13 points ahead of 10th-placed Liverpool.

Kevin De Bruyne expecting ‘best Liverpool possible’ in Premier League clash - Andy Hampson - The Independent

KDB knows what he expects from the Reds at the weekend.

Liverpool have been City’s chief title rival in recent seasons but have made a slow start to the current campaign.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just two of their eight Premier League games this season and sit 10th in the table, 13 points behind champions City.

Kevin De Bruyne says he is expecting Manchester City to fully impose themselves on Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday with boss Pep Guardiola ready to unleash a fully rested striker Erling Haaland on the struggling Reds - Jack Gaughan - MailOnline

And furthermore, he feels City will be up to the challenge.

De Bruyne, who has nine assists already this term, put that down to trusting their own game in what is usually a febrile atmosphere. Normally billed as a title clash, Liverpool are 13 points adrift of the Premier League champions with a game in hand.

‘The last few years we have done well. Maybe we have more control of the game,’ De Bruyne said. ‘They are more of an up and down team and we are a team who has more control of the game.

‘If you can control that style of play then maybe you have more of a chance.. Last year I thought we played great but we didn’t win. Sometimes it goes that way.

Aguero compares Haaland to Messi and says he will continue to break records - Soham Mukherjee -

And finally... A City Legend comparing the newest City Star to one of the GOATs.

WHAT HAPPENED? The former Argentina international has said that the Manchester City striker is a generational talent and has put him in the same bracket along with some of the legends of the sport like Brazil legend Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Robert Lewandowski. Aguero believes that if Haaland maintains this consistency then he will keep breaking records in the years to come.

WHAT THEY SAID: “There’s been many strikers worthy of awe I can think of. One of my favourites was Ronaldo [Nazario], who time and time again proved to be the full package as a player, and a menace before the goalposts. Each era usually has two or three players with that ability – and usually with different styles. Diego [Maradona], Romario, Lewandowski, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, and Leo, of course! Each had their own flair but they were all tremendous scorers to a fault,” Aguero said to Stake.

“Speaking of Haaland specifically, he’s got potency, athleticism, and a particular instinct for goals, which makes him very dangerous. He’s got everything to keep racking up amazing stats, especially being part of an offensively-minded team like City. That in turn means plenty of opportunities to score. He’s young and has a lot of potential to continue breaking records. Key to this, of course, will be consistency,” he further added.

There you have it Cityzens. Just three more days until Anfield. Stay with us for all the latest, right here at Bitter and Blue.