Erling Haaland continued his incredible score with two more goals as Manchester City pushed Copenhagen aside to win three out of three in Champions League Group G.
Haaland was knocked out at half-time, missing an attempt at what would have been a fourth hat-trick for City, but his double play in the first half means he now has 19 goals in his first 12 appearances for Pep Guardiola’s side.
With or without him, City were far too quick and smart for their Danish opponents and would have scored more than five goals in a totally one-sided game without Copenhagen keeper Kamil Grabara.
Fresh from crushing neighbors Manchester United over the weekend, City and Haaland picked up where they left off on Sunday, taking less than seven minutes to open their accounts.
Cancelo’s low cross found Haaland in the space within the area and, predictably, made no mistake with a powerful lock of what was his first touch of the game.
The only surprise was that it took City after half an hour to extend the lead and, unsurprisingly, it was Haaland who was in the right spot to tap the loose ball after Grabara parried a shot from Sergio Gomez.
The last thing Copenhagen needed at this stage was bad luck, but their misery was compounded before half-time when a shot from Gomez made a double deflection on Denis Vavro and then David Khocholava heading for the net.
With the win secured, Haaland was replaced by Cole Palmer at halftime – even goal machines need rest – while City glanced at their next game, against Southampton here on Saturday.
His departure reduced City’s threat, but they still dominated possession and more goals followed.
Riyad Mahrez made it 4-0 from the penalty spot after Aymeric Laporte fouled, after which the Algeria attacker became a supplier to set up Julian Alvarez to round out the score from close range.
City were completely dominant and will be the firm favorite to repeat this result in Denmark next week and ensure their progress to the last 16.
City also has competition for places
Haaland will continue to make headlines, but Guardiola will be happy to see Mahrez take off with his first goal and assist of 2022-23.
The 31-year-old was City’s top scorer last season with 24 goals in all competitions, but was in unconvincing form in the early stages of this season.
This week, Guardiola went so far as to say he wouldn’t choose him until his physical condition improved – but this was certainly the response he sought from Mahrez after reinstating him in the team.
Mahrez wasn’t the only player to argue his case for more minutes, with the vivacious Gomez impressing again, just as he did after his foray against United, and only the post stopped Alvarez from scoring a second goal.
At the back, Laporte’s recovery from injury meant he was fit enough to make his first start of the season, while Ruben Dias was recalled after finding an unused derby replacement.
With a busy schedule ahead that will see City play 10 games before the campaign pauses for the World Cup on November 12, competition for places is exactly what Guardiola wants.
- 7Cancelis replaced byLewisBee 57′minutes
- 3Ruben Dias
- 14The door
- 20Bernard Silvais replaced byWilson-EsbrandBee 66′minutes
- 9Haalandis replaced bypalmerBee 45′minutes
- 17De Bruyne
- 47The foot
- 2Dickis replaced byThe anchorBee 66′minutes
- 35stamenBooked at 54mins
- 12Clay Storageis replaced bySorensenBee 79′minutes
- 7Claessonis replaced byMukaruBee 66′minutes
- 29Karamokois replaced byLundBee 45′minutes
- 15Daramyis replaced byHaraldsonBee 55′minutes
- 22The anchor
- Donate Rum
Match ends, Manchester City 5, FC Copenhagen 0.
Second Half ends, Manchester City 5, Copenhagen FC 0.
Attempt saved. Sergio Gómez (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved to the center of the goal. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Corner, Manchester City. Produced by Victor Kristiansen.
Missed attempt. Jack Grealish (Manchester City) right footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.
Attempt saved. Jack Grealish (Manchester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved to the center of the goal. Assisted by Aymeric Laporte.
Substitution at FC Copenhagen. Christian Sorensen replaces Lukas Leager.
Missed attempt. Jack Grealish (Manchester City) right footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Ilkay Gundogan.
Goal! Manchester City 5, FC Copenhagen 0. Julián Álvarez (Manchester City) right footed shot from very close range to the center of the goal. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.
Missed attempt. Valdemar Lund (FC Copenhagen) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Ísak Jóhannesson with a cross from a corner.
Corner, FC Copenhagen. Produced by Rico Lewis.
Attempt blocked. Paul Mukairu (FC Copenhagen) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hakon Haraldsson.
Foul by Rico Lewis (Manchester City).
Paul Mukairu (FC Copenhagen) wins a free kick in the backcourt.
Foul by Rico Lewis (Manchester City).
Victor Kristiansen (FC Copenhagen) wins a free kick in the backcourt.
Julián Álvarez (Manchester City) hits the left post with a left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left. Assisted by Jack Grealish.
Switch, Manchester City. Josh Wilson-Esbrand replaces Bernardo Silva.
Substitution at FC Copenhagen. Paul Mukairu replaces Viktor Claesson.