UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Champions League group stage recap: Copenhagen upset the odds

The Danish champions finished above Galatasaray and Man United in Group A.

All of Copenhagen's Champions League group stage goals

Copenhagen were one of the stories of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League group stage as Jacob Neestrup's side thrilled neutrals with an exciting, attacking brand of football to progress to the round of 16.

Round of 16: Copenhagen vs Man City

Campaign so far

Highlights: Copenhagen 4-3 Man United

Group A runners-up: W2 D2 L2 F8 A8
Top scorer: Lukas Lerager (3)

20/09: Galatasaray 2-2 Copenhagen – Boey 86, Tetê 88; Elyounoussi 35, Diogo Gonçalves 58
03/10: Copenhagen 1-2 Bayern – Lerager 56; Musiala 67, Tel 83
24/10: Man United 1-0 Copenhagen – Maguire 72
08/11: Copenhagen 4-3 Man United – Elyounoussi 45, Diogo Gonçalves 45+9(p), Lerager 83, Bardghji 87; Højlund 3 28, Bruno Fernandes 69(p)
29/11: Bayern 0-0 Copenhagen
12/12: Copenhagen 1-0 Galatasaray – Lerager 58

Campaign in ten words: Came on strong at business end with Parken a fortress.

UEFA.com reporter's view

Taking just one point from their first three games, Copenhagen appeared to have made a slow start in Group A, but results rather undersold their performances; they took the lead against Galatasaray and Bayern and missed an added-time penalty against Manchester United on Matchday 3 that would have earned them a 1-1 draw. The way they played commanded respect, and hard work paid off when they followed up a 4-3 win against United with a hard-fought goalless draw in Munich and the decisive victory over Galatasaray to qualify.

How do Copenhagen play?

Copenhagen do not have the biggest stars in Europe, but a real appetite for hard work has helped them to punch above their weight. Neestrup has had his side playing a more open game than Copenhagen have in previous group stage campaigns. They have not scored a single goal from a corner or free-kick, but crosses have been an essential attacking tool. More important is the fact that they never give up, continually chasing the next goal until the final whistle.

Fantasy star performers

Lukas Lerager – 34 points
Mohamed Elyounoussi, Rasmus Falk – 32 points
Diogo Gonçalves, Denis Vavro – 29 points

Highlights: Copenhagen 1-0 Galatasaray

Key stats

• Copenhagen are the only Danish side to finish in the top two of a Champions League group, having also done so in the 2010/11 season.

• Copenhagen ended Bayern's record 17-game winning run in Champions League group stage matches with their battling draw on Matchday 5.

• Forward Falk covered 79.4km of ground across the group stage – the most of any player.

Squad changes

In: Magnus Mattsson, Scott McKenna, Rúnar Rúnarsson
Out: Andreas Dithmer, Victor Froholdt, Valdemar Lund Jensen, Thomas Jørgensen, Mateo Tanlongo

Sign up for a free MyUEFA account to watch live streams and on-demand content, play games and challenge your friends, win money-can’t-buy prizes, and apply for tickets to Europe’s biggest games.

Selected for you