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13 November 2014

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You are in: Manchester > BBC Radio Manchester > BBC Radio Manchester Features > City's European tour: Completing the hat-trick

Ian Cheeseman in a Viking helmet with 3-D lenses

Cheesy's Viking-style 3-D glasses

City's European tour: Completing the hat-trick

As Manchester City return to Denmark for a third time in the UEFA Cup, so does Ian Cheeseman – who is happily digging into another smorgasbord of Danish hospitality.

Day 3 – Not over until the last penalty wins

And I thought the most dramatic moment of match day would come as I watched the diva performing her opera songs - including her version of 'Over the Rainbow'. I didn't realise at the time that those lyrics would be so appropriate.

"Somewhere over the rainbow - skies are blue and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true."

Opera singer Berit Meland sings in an open air show in Aalborg

Opera singer Berit Meland

Those words might have described the feels of the City fans after they came through what should have been an unnecessary penalty shootout. When you come so close to going out, just like during City's first trip to Denmark, maybe it’s only right to dream of Istanbul in May after all.

Match day had started in the usual way, as I reported the latest news into our Breakfast programme, followed by a run along the Fjord. It was a beautiful sunny morning and refreshing, if a little nippy. I chatted to a couple of City fans, with many arriving mid-morning on the day trip, before meeting up with fellow journalist, Chris Bailey, for a walk up to the Maritime Museum, which isn't too far from the stadium.

Naturally it wasn't busy, this being the quiet time for tourists, so we were able to explore the indoor and outdoor exhibits without hassle, after first enjoying the cheapest thing I've bought here in Denmark; a cup of tea for a pound.

A submarine in dry dock at Aalborg's Maritime Museum

A submarine in dry dock at the Maritime Museum

The fall of the pound on the world currency market has left a less than favourable exchange rate, though even the Danes admit they prefer to take a ferry to Sweden for their shopping, since it's much cheaper there. Seemingly their money, money, money goes that bit further in the land of Abba.

Having explored the inside of a Danish submarine, which even Shaun Wright-Phillips would struggle to fit in, we climbed aboard a small battleship and looked at a wonderful array of model warships. I had a go at the sailing simulator and crashed into the dock, which surprised me, because I've never done that on the boating lake at Heaton Park.

It was time to take in the opera - not the real stuff, just a few selected highlights in the form of an open-air taster. It was staged in the courtyard of a circular block of flats. I parked my posterior on the concrete wall, overlooking the underground car park. It was more comfortable than it sounds.

Manchester City players celebrate after winning a penalty shoot out against AaB Aalborg (Getty Images)

City players mob Shay Given after the shootout

The singer, Berit Meland, sang alone, as her partner in 'Duo Amore' was ill. She sang beautifully, and it was easy to forget the unglamorous location as she warbled through songs by Johann Strauss, Bizet and Harald Arlen.

Then it was onto the match, a straightforward game, or so it seemed, which suddenly came alive in the last ten minutes of normal time.

The hotel receptionist had asked for a dramatic game that wouldn't be settled until the last kick of the game. I'd wanted a boring City win. The receptionist got her wish. The European tour continues, but only just.

Read about Ian's first two days in Aalborg...

last updated: 23/03/2009 at 08:45
created: 18/03/2009

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