FCK
FC Copenhagen
1
FT
Agg: 3-1
3
MCY
Manchester City
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Manchester City and Real Madrid took care of Champions League business away from home as knockout stage began

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Manchester City and Real Madrid kicked off the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with wins on Tuesday, but take only narrow leads in their respective matchups against Copenhagen and RB Leipzig.

City won 3-1 at Copenhagen, taking an early lead in the 10th minute through Kevin de Bruyne, but surrendering it in the 34th when Ederson's mistake led to Magnus Mattsson slotting one cleanly in the corner. Bernardo Silva's strike just before halftime ensured the reigning champions would come out on top and Phil Foden's goal in second-half stoppage time sealed the deal.

Things were more competitive in Leipzig, where the hosts lost 1-0 to Real Madrid. It was a back-and-forth matchup in which both sides posted several quality shots and Leipzig actually won the expected goals battle 1.68 to 1.54. However, Brahim Diaz's stunning individual effort in the 48th minute, and a batch of saves from goalkeeper Andriy Lunin meant the visitors would come out on top.

The second leg of these ties will take place on March 6, but the Champions League round of 16 will continue with several matchups in between now and then, including Paris Saint-Germain's clash with Real Sociedad and Bayern Munich's faceoff with Lazio tomorrow.

Here's a quick glance at Tuesday's results.

Tuesday's results

  • Copenhagen 1, Manchester City 2
  • RB Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 1
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FT: Man City 3, Copenaghen 1 

Manchester City win 3-1 away against Copenaghen thanks to the goals scored by Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in the first half, while before the home side managed to equalize with Mattsson after a huge mistake by Ederson. In the second half, the guests found a third goal during stoppage time with Phil Foden. City can already think about the quarter finals. 

 
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FT: RB Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 1

Real Madrid come out of this one with a narrow lead, but it was not from a lack of trying from Leipzig. The hosts had nine shots on target to Real Madrid's three and beat them in the expected goals battle 1.68 to 1.54 but Diaz's stellar strike was the only one that found the back of the net. Still plenty to play for when the two sides meet again at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 6.

 
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GOAL - Man City 3, Copenaghen 1

Another De Bryune assist and Phil Foden scored a third one for the guests that can go back to Manchester with a nice win away. 

 
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Lunin with the sotp

82' Leipzig have been fervently searching for an equalizer over the last several minutes and created several quality opportunities, perhaps none more notable than Sesko's strike at goal from close range. Lunin is up for the task and makes an important save, far from his first of the evening.

 
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City are pushing 

The guests are trying to score a third one and had few chances with Doku and De Bruyne but still nothing yet. The second half hasn't been as exciting as the first 45 minutes. 

 
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Missed chances

67' The hosts' mission to find an equalizer picks up some steam as Sesko once again appears to have a good chance in front of him, but Lunin smartly comes off his line to stop the opportunity in its tracks. A few of Sesko's teammates are around to reclaim it but Olmo's unable to put the shot on frame. A few moments later, Real Madrid have a promising look at goal that ends with Vinicius Junior sending the ball over the crossbar. This game is beginning to reflect the end-to-end style that made it so enjoyable to watch in the first half, which means we could be in for a fun conclusion.

 
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All Real Madrid now

60' Things got off to an encouraging start for Leipzig but Diaz's goal has solidified Real Madrid's dominance over this match. They have quietly but confidently dictated play over the last 10 minutes or so, calmly building attacking plays that have so far been sniffed out with relative ease by Leipzig. The hosts aren't exactly out of this one yet, though, as evidenced by Olmo's attempt for an equalizer in the moments after Diaz's strike.

 
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GOAL - Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 1

48' Diaz is shoved off the ball but picks himself back up without losing control of the ball, outmaneuvers a few Leipzig defenders and then takes a shot from distance and scores. That's a stunning way to open the scoring in this tie.

 
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Second half begins in Leipzig

47' No subs for either team after the break, but Leipzig once again earn a corner early in the half. Sesko, with his aerial threat, tries to do something with it but Real Madrid survive that with relative ease.

 
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HT: Man City 2, Copenaghen 1.

Man City are ahead after the first half and after they dominated the home team for most of the time, despite the goal conceded due to a big mistake by Ederson. Guardiola's team deserve to be ahead at halftime. Huge performance by Kevin De Bruyne once again, who was involved in both goals scored by the guests. 

 
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HT: Leipzig 0, Real Madrid 0

There might not be goals in this one unlike the other matchup today, but this one has not lacked entertainment. Leipzig and Real Madrid are very much locked in a battle that's been even in a lot of ways, but if one side might have the slight edge, it might be the hosts. They have been convincing going forward and arguably had the better chances, and the expected goals tally backs them up -- they are outpacing Real Madrid 0.74 to 0.59 so far in that category.

 
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GOAL - Man City 2, Copenaghen 1. 

45' Despite a good moment for the home team, City scored the second one with Bernardo Silva who was able to take advantage of a nice chance. 

 
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Shots on both ends

44' After a slow but steady stretch of about 10 minutes, it seems like Leipzig and Real Madrid are ready to up the tempo just before halftime. Vinicius Junior nearly scored on one end after steady build-up play, but Leipzig pounced on the opportunity and ran down the other end of the pitch to earn a corner. Looks like end to end action will be the way this first half ends.

 
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GOAL - Copenaghen 1, City 1

Game is on! Huge mistake by City's goalkeeper Ederson that led to the first chance for the home side. The Brazilian passed it straight to the opposition with the ball immediately gifted to Mattsson on the edge of the box, who scored a nice goal few moments later. Mattsson only signed for Copenaghen ten days ago, what a debut! 

 
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City close to score again 

29' Bernardo Silva gets away on the left and finds the center of the box, where Vavro tries to block with his head but deflects it onto his own bar and risks to score an own goal. Few moments later, Haaland has his first chance of the game, but doesn't find the net. 

 
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Grealish out 

22' First chance for Pep Guardiola, after Jack Grealish suffered an injury and was replaced by Doku. The Englishman appeared to hold his groin immediately upon being challenged and was forced to be replaced. 

 
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Back and forth in Leipzig

26' So far, both Leipzig and Real Madrid are trading meaningful spells of possession and getting some quality shots off, too. It's been an even game by just about every metric, which is to the hosts' credit. They were very much positioned as the underdogs but have looked dangerous going forward on several occasions now. It's especially true for Sesko, who already has three shots today.

 
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Real Madrid finding their feet

10' It may have taken a few minutes, but Real Madrid now have a few shots on the board after excelling on the wing through Rodrygo. This one's shaping up to be a fairly competitive matchup.

 
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GOAL - Man City 1, Copenaghen 0. 

10' Kevin De Bruyne scores the opener! Phil Foden finds the Belgian between the lines and scores the opening goal of the game. Great start for City. Copenaghen are already down by one goal after ten minutes and need to react now. 

 
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Huge chance for City!

6' A big chance for the visitors with Kevin de Bruyne who was not able to convert it and score the opener in front of the goal. City had a good start of the game and are pushing. 

 
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No goal for Leipzig

6' The fact that Sesko's strike doesn't count doesn't mean Leipzig are slowing down. Sesko has another good opportunity but is unable to convert, though the momentum is very much with the hosts in the early moments of this one.

 
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Underway in Leipzig

The game has kicked off between RB Leipzig and Real Madrid, with the hosts already making a meaningful forward run and earning a corner just three minutes in. Sesko strikes but the flag goes up, and now a review is underway...

 
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Game on! 

The game between Manchester City and Copenaghen has started, let's see if Pep Guardiola's side can continue their winning streak after winning all the six group stage games. FC Copenhagen, on the other hand, haven't played for two months due to the winter break in the Danish league and are now back in action. 

 
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Toni Kroos' future

While the focus for Real Madrid will be on how to succeed in Bellingham's absence, they could be facing a future without Kroos sooner rather than later. The German midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and so Guillem Balague spoke to Morning Footy about Kroos' options this summer, which could include retiring while he's still at the top of his game.

 
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Diaz starts in Bellingham's place

While Jude Bellingham sits today's game out with a sprained ankle, Brahim Diaz starts in his place alongside the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. Xavi Simons and Luis Openda, meanwhile, are the headlining acts for Leipzig's lineup. Here's a look at how both teams will start.

Leipzig starting XI: Gulacsi, Simakan, Klostermann, Orban, Henrichs, Schlager, Olmo, Raum, Simons, Sesko, Openda

Real Madrid starting XI: Lunin, Carvajal, Tchouaméni, Nacho, Mendy, Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga, Diaz, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior

 
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Man City for a back to back win? 

Manchester City won all six group games this season for the first time – both they and Real Madrid have a 100% winning record in the competition this season. City are unbeaten in their last 20 European games (19 UCL) – an ongoing record for an English club and are expected to fight for a back to back title win after winning their first Champions League title last season. 

 
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Haaland starts 

Let's take a look at the team news of the game that will see Manchester City facing Copenaghen: 

Copenaghen XI: Grabara, Vavro, McKenna, Diks, Jelert, Mattsson, Falk, Gonçalves, Elyounoussi, Claesson, Achouri

Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Foden, Grealish, Haaland. 

 
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A new Champions League landscape

Here's a fun fact: This will be the first edition of the Champions League knockouts since the 2000-01 season without the reigning Ballon d'Or winner or The Best FIFA Men's Player, both most recently won by Lionel Messi, who now plays for Inter Miami. Back in the 2000-01 season, Ballon d'Or winner Zinedine Zidane didn't compete in the knockouts because his Juventus side were eliminated in the group stage.

 
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Cue the Champions League anthem

After hibernating for the winter, the Champions League is back today to begin the round of 16. Kicking things off are Manchester City and Real Madrid, two of the continent's top teams who received favorable draws as they begin charting their paths to the final in London. Stay tuned for team news and then updates once both matches begin.

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