Ten-man Manchester City were unable to secure their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League with two group games to spare on a frustrating night in Copenhagen.
Pep Guardiola rested Erling Haaland for the game, with Julien Alvarez leading the line instead, but a first-half red card for Sergio Gomez ultimately dictated what was a flat performance from the Citizens.
The first half hour of the game was frantic, and Man City thought they had taken the lead when Rodi drove a brilliant long-range effort into the top corner of the net. However, VAR made its first intervention of a busy night to harshly rule it out for a handball in the build-up by Riyad Mahrez.
Mahrez was at the centre of the next VAR flashpoint too. City were awarded a penalty for a handball in the Copenhagen box, and the Algerian stepped up to take the spot kick. His tame effort was easily pushed away by Kamil Grabara.
At that point it still felt like it was just a matter of time before Man City opened the scoring, but the game changed on the half-hour thanks to another VAR intervention. Sergio Gomez was eventually adjudged to have hauled down Hakan Arnar Haraldsson when the Icelandic ace was through on goal.
From there the game settled into something of a predictable and pedestrian pattern, with Copenhagen happy to preserve the draw and Man City unable to commit enough players forward to break them down.
Chances were at a premium, yet Guardiola signalled his comfort with a point by leaving Haaland on the bench despite the game easing to a predictable conclusion.
GK: Ederson – 6/10 – An uncharacteristically nervy start to the game, but quickly settled down.
RB: Joao Cancelo – 6/10 – Forced to show more discipline than he usually has to and lost a little attacking verve as a result.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 6/10 – Very solid and dependable, although rarely tested.
CB: Aymeric Laporte – 6/10 – Just his usual self really. Again, though, he wasn’t really tested.
LB: Sergio Gomez – 3/10 – Didn’t really have anything to do until he got sent off for a clumsy challenge.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 7/10 – Kept things ticking over as he usually does, although unable to inject any energy into the City performance.
CM: Rodri – 7/10 – Very unlucky to not have a stunning goal to his name. Decent performance all round.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 7/10 – Nowhere near his best but his okay is a lot better than most players could ever produce.
RW: Riyad Mahrez – 2/10 – Only on the pitch for 32 minutes but in that time managed to get Rodri’s brilliant goal disallowed for his handball and miss a penalty.
ST: Julian Alvarez – 6/10 – Hard not to feel for him a little. It was his big chance to come out of Haaland’s shadow and circumstances conspired against him.
LW: Jack Grealish – 6/10 – Always willing to try things but not able to really make any notable impact.
SUB: Ruben Dias (32′ for Mahrez) – 6/10 – Slotted in nicely after the red card and was comfortable.
SUB: Bernardo Silva (77′ for De Bruyne) – N/A.
SUB: Phil Foden (77′ for Grealish) – N/A.
SUB: Nathan Ake (88′ for Laporte) – N/A.