Look! A proper team! In the Uefa Cup! Hats off to Manchester City manager Mark Hughes for this: Given, Richards, Dunne (c), Onuoha, Bridge, Zabaleta, Kompany, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Robinho, Bellamy.
Subs: Hart, Berti, Garrido, Elano, Vassell, Caicedo, Evans.
FC Copenhagen of the Danish Superligaen, who held City to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of this round-of-32 tie: Christiansen, Pospech, Norregaard, Almeida, Kvist, Hutchinson, N'Doye, Antonsson, Kristensen, Wendt, Jorgensen.
Subs: Coe, Jensen, Laursen, Nordstrand, Gronkjaer, Vingaard, Sionko.
Referee: S Dereli.
Kick off: 7.45pm
Superfluous weather update: It is raining in Manchester.
I take the comment about City's badge having vague Nazi overtones back, in the interests of Jordan Devine's sanity. "Don't say that!" s/he splutters. "I got the newer badge tattooed on me about five years ago. You might cause widespread dissent about the current design then before you know it, I'd be one of those tits walking around with an obsolete tattoo etched on my skin." Though hold on, wouldn't that give you more long-term supporter kudos?
Copenhagen, in their 1970s e-number-addled peach-melba yoghurt coloured shirts, kick off! Wright Phillips attempts to scoot past Wendt down the right, but the ball aquaplanes out of play.
3 min: Copenhagen are knocking it around the middle of the park nicely, Kristensen heavily involved, but they've not created anything yet. "City had to update their badge to include the stars for the three world cups they have won," explains Mark Taylor, who is either a gloating Manchester United fan or a City supporter going through a regular bout of self-hating. He's a City supporter going through one of his regular bouts of self-hating, isn't he.
5 min: Pospech whips the ball across the face of City's goalmouth from the right, but not before it had just gone out of play. Ndoye was lurking in the centre there, too. City will want to watch out for that, because they were a bit saggy and shapeless in the centre. (No jokes about Richard Dunne, please.)
8 min: Bellamy goes into minor meltdown after being flagged offside, latching onto an Ireland pass slid down the inside-left channel. The decision was just about right. Just. Meanwhile Jordan Devine is not having a bar of the argument which suggests an out-of-date badge tattoo gives one long-term supporter kudos: "Do you give long-term supporter kudos to the soap-dodgers who wander around town in a ten-year old replica kit? Nuff said."
10 min: A terrible ball from Bellamy, who busts Copenhagen's offside trap down the right and scoots clear into the box. Robinho is free in the centre, but the cross hits Jorgensen and gets nowhere near the City man. The away side look super-shaky at the back.
12 min: Kompany attempts to free Robinho down the left by switching play and spraying a long ball out wide. It's a great idea - but Antonsson is wise to his game, drops back towards his own goal, and intercepts, heading the ball back to Christiansen. It's been a lively start to this game.
16 min: Bridge storms forward down the left but his cross is overcooked, leaving Ireland and Bellamy stranded in the centre. Then seconds later, Zabaleta flicks an effort towards goal from a tight angle on the left, but Christiansen has it covered.
19 min: Hutchinson sends a looping cross into the City box from the right, and it's only just too high for Ndoye in the centre. City sweep right down the other end, Bellamy zipping down the right and standing one up to the far post, where Robinho heads onto the crossbar from two yards out. What a miss. "The best badges are the simplest ones," writes Anthony Marc Hopkins, who is talking my language. "I like Fulham's actually and Spurs' new one is a lot better than the old one. Still and all, they're overdone but then again, they are a lot less problematic than the sponsorship name on the shirts." Another good point. Ridiculously elaborate badge-branding, shirt sponsors, pitchside advertising... anyone fancy razing everything to the ground and starting again from scratch?
21 min: ITV ARE A LOAD OF USELESS CLOWNS WHO SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO TRANSMIT FOOTBALL EVER AGAIN. The director does a lengthy megamix of the Uefa Cup logo, a swoosh, the Bellamy-Robinho chance of a couple of minutes ago, the Uefa Cup logo, a couple more swooshes, the Uefa Cup logo, the Yorkshire TV ident from 1968, another swoosh, and a close-up of Christiansen. While that's going on, out of sight, Robinho twists and turns down the inside-left channel, into the box, turns Pospech (who slips and accidentally handles), and hammers a shot towards the bottom-left corner. The keeper parries the effort away brilliantly. Some of the Robinho run is shown live, but not all. How many more times does this have to happen? Given that once was one time too many?
24 min: Ndoye cuts inside from the left and into the City box. Dunne brushes the back of his heels, and the Copenhagen striker takes the opportunity to go down. It would have been a soft penalty, but City could have ultimately had no complaints. As it is, though, the referee gives nothing, much to Ndoye's dismay. It's the second time in a minute the ref has done City a favour, because Kompany was super-late on Hutchinson just before that incident, flipping him into the air like a greasy egg, and should have seen yellow. Lucky City.
30 min: Copenhagen have kept City very quiet for the last few minutes. They'll be very happy with this.
33 min: City are enjoying an awful lot of the ball, but they're not going anywhere with it. Eastlands still seems a pretty happy place, a fair bit of singing going on, but this wouldn't be City if just a little bit of tension was creeping in. "Can we establish if Jordan Devine was giving a toddler a clout outside Greggs in the Arndale Centre at about 1.20pm today?" asks Howard Waddington. "The woman in question certainly had the look of someone sporting a City tattoo somewhere on their person." A City supporter, in other words? You can look like a City supporter these days?
36 min: Robinho has a shot from the edge of the area, but Christiansen has the weak effort covered. Soon after, Kristensen is booked for hauling back Wright Phillips (who has been very quiet) as he races down the right wing.
40 min: Copenhagen win three corners in a row. City's defence doesn't look particularly happy under the high ball, but they eventually clear their lines after two slapstick attempts. Mildly amusing acronym, anyone? "Unwanted European Football Accolade Cup," quips Gary Naylor, whose view may or may not be jaundiced by Everton's habit of being knocked out of Europe before the f
irst two hours of the season are up.
43 min: City have been very quiet for the last 10-15 minutes. Bellamy tries to inject some life into his team by tearing down the left, getting a yard on Wendt, and looking for Robinho in the centre. His cross is too close to Christiansen, though, and is easily gathered by the keeper.
HALF TIME: Manchester City 0-0 Copenhagen. Jorgensen hoofs a long free kick into the City box from the left, but Given claims, as you always knew he would. Back up the field, Zabaleta hoofs Antonsson in the shin, causing the big defender to hobble around for a bit. And then Bellamy hits the post, racing into the box from the left, breaking free and dinking the ball over the advancing Christiansen. The ball bounces towards the empty net - but comes off the base of the right-hand post and back across the face of goal, into the arms of the grateful keeper. The ref blows up, and Bellamy stomps off in an almighty funk.
And we're off again! Copenhagen make a change, replacing Kristensen with Sionko. Meanwhile Peter1645, who may or may not be related to 15Peter20 from Nathan Barley, has a problem with my pre-match superfluous weather update. Hi ho hi, Peter1645, what's up? "Do you live in Manchester?" he asks. "No?" No. "Today is the first day that it's rained in a week!" Oh. Well, fair enough, sorry for causing you any offence. Though as a Mancunian, can you really afford to get upset every time someone makes a lame reference about rain? Won't that get a little tiring after a while?
47 min: Almost an immediate impact by Sionko, who turns Dunne on the edge of the area and sends a delightful curling shot towards the top-right corner. Given is beaten all ends up, but the ball sails just over the bar. A really decent effort, that, and one which will concentrate City minds. "I was a man the last time I checked," writes Jordan Devine, who therefore hasn't been hoofing kids around outside the bakers. "Not that I'm against giving toddlers a clout now and again. Especially if they're parents are from the red half of the city." Oh my.
50 min: City are awarded a free kick, 25 yards out, almost right in the centre of the pitch. Bellamy takes, sending a curling effort towards the top-left corner. It's going in - but Christiansen has time to get across and parry into the air and away. A really lively start to this half by both teams.
52 min: Dunne and Ailton clash heads. Time for treatment. "The most amusing thing about the City badge has to be the row of three stars," writes Paul Glennon. "In Italy stars signify ten championship wins. In international play, a star signifies a World Cup victory. What do they signify to City? According to the mcfc website:
5. What do the three stars represent on the crest?
A. The stars have no significance and are purely decorative.
54 min: How did City not score there? Robinho sends Wright Phillips free down the right and into the box. Instead of shooting, Wright Phillips sends a low cross over towards Ireland, coming in from the left. The ball beats the keeper - but is just too far ahead of Ireland, who slides in a split second too late.
55 min: Not for the first time, a City player gets away with a poor challenge. Dunne, perhaps going after Ailton after that clash of heads, slides in, two feet up, on the Brazilian. Ooyah. Oof. That was at least a yellow - and possibly a red, given what looked like a fair bit of intent. Hmm.
58 min: Former Chelsea man Jesper Gronkjaer comes on for Ndoye. Spencer Jones explains the reason behind the change of the City badge. And, of course, it's the same old story: money. "When the club was bought from Peter Swales, he individually held the rights for the badge. So they changed it such that he didn't generate cash from it once the club changed hands. Not particularly sure why they didn't go back to the City of Manchester crest (as used in the cup final shirt long ago) - probably the same, sporting 'commercial reasons'."
62 min: Wright Phillips, on the halfway line, looks like racing clear on goal, but Wendt hacks him down with a crude challenge. There are covering defenders in the centre, and it's a long way out, so that's only a yellow. "The time is right for bringing back the old badge, especially after this season of discontent, as Umbro has been signed up to produce next year's kits," notes Josh Barnes. "And the dead animal on Ireland's pate is vanity at its worst." How can you say that, given we've just been remembering comb-over king Peter Swales?
65 min: Robinho takes another pop from just outside the area. Jorgensen throws his body in the way of the effort and it clanks away to safety. City are playing pretty well on the whole... but this is City, and there are a few furrowed brows. "This is a repeat of the match agaisnt Midjytlland where City trailed 1-0 and grabbed a very late goal to save themselves," writes George Templeton. "You know a hilariouys cockup is coming, it is Manchester City after all."
68 min: Robinho, flagged offside, throws his arms around ostentatiously in the direction of the linesman. How long has Bellamy been at City again? How long did this take?
71 min: As things stand, City are going through on away goals. You didn't need me to remind you of that, but there's not much else to say at the moment.
73 min: GOAL!!! Manchester City 1-0 Copenhagen. Bellamy has been City's busiest player, so he deserves this: Ireland sends a long, curling pass down the inside-left channel. Bellamy scampers after it. He shouldn't get to the ball first, but he puts pressure on Jorgensen by sitting right on his shoulder, and the defender slips. The City striker tears into the box and slips a confident shot past the advancing keeper and into the bottom-left corner. A wonderful finish. This, I would argue, is over.
74 min: It's so nearly a quick second as Bellamy cuts the ball back from the left to Bridge on the edge of the area. Bridge's shot is always rising over the bar - but not by much. You can sense the relief in the side.
76 min: Vingaard, who scored the last-minute equaliser in the first leg, replaces Norregaard.
78 min: What a miss by Robinho. Ireland lays the ball off to him on the edge of the six-yard box. He dances past two challenges with wonderful footwork, then tries to pass the ball into the bottom-left corner - but can only hit the outside of the post. That had to be 2-0. Anyway, we were talking about advertising hoardings, sort of, about an hour ago. "I was watching Stoke last weekend and the key moment sideboard ad was for Bargain Booze," notes Anthony Marc Hopkins. "Very classy touch. BTW, this is my office email which is why my full name comes up. Wouldn't want you think that I am a pretentious jerk. I go by Tony." Sure thing, Tone.
80 min: GOAL!!! Manchester City 2-0 Copenhagen. Robinho makes up for that preposterous miss by sashaying down the left, then cutting a perfect ball back from the byline to Bellamy, who's standing on the penalty spot. Bellamy finishes the move wonderfully, arrowing an effort into the top right. The two celebrate, which is nice to see given they've been squabbling behind the scenes like toddlers.
82 min: EVEN BETTER NEWS FOR CITY!!! THEIR BADGE ISN'T FASCISTIC "It more recalls the Hapsburg Empire," argues Drew JTS. "Dunno if that's more apt or not." Meanwhile Elano comes on for Zabaleta.
85 min: This is all about Bellamy, who from a Copenhagen corner clears Hutchinson's header off the line. Man of the match, not that you needed me to tell you that.
88 min: Bellamy is strutting around like a peacock. No jokes, please. "You ever noticed how Steven Ireland's ears are at mouth level rather than eye level like everyone else?" asks Alexander Netherton. No. Also, what's the deal with airplane peanuts?
89 min: Sionko takes a shot from a tight angle on the right. Given can only parry the powerful effort across the face of his goal. Ailton should convert, sliding in from the left, but can only clank the ball wide left. Very poor.
90 min +3: GOAL!!! Manchester City 2-1 Copenhagen. It's another last-minute goal from Vingaard, who from the right-hand edge of the City box sends a low, hard shot into the bottom corner! It's far too late to make any difference, though, as only seconds remain.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 2-1 Copenhagen. And indeed that is that. City make the last 16. They made hard work of tonight's win, but were never in danger of being knocked out. Meanwhile, it appears you can look like a City supporter these days (33 mins). "I was at Old Trafford," begins Mac Millings, "among United supporters a few years ago (don't ask me why - I still haven't managed to scrub off the stench of the Theatre of Self-Congratulation) to see the Manchester derby, and the only two City fans stood out a mile. Other than not bowing every time Cantona got the ball, they were also the only ones with lank mullets and pencil-thin moustaches. Also, when did Franny Lee knock Stephen Ireland up, then? Why am I always the last to hear about this stuff?" And that, our legal advisors will be pleased to hear, is that. Nighty night.