Relentless Erling Haaland sparks Manchester City’s Copenhagen rout


This ultimately – inevitably, perhaps – turned out to be another headline‑grabbing night from Erling Haaland, and this time he needed only 45 minutes to leave his mark on another Manchester City match.

Only three opposition sides – Liverpool, Bournemouth and the Serbia national team– have prevented Haaland from scoring at least once this season. It took him just seven minutes, and one touch, to ensure FC Copenhagen would not join that group.

As Haaland wheeled away after turning in João Cancelo’s cross, Pep Guardiola could simply do nothing other than laugh. The Etihad Stadium announcer joined in the fun, declaring: “Goal for City, who else?”

By the time he was substituted at half-time here, the job had been comprehensively done by City and Haaland. He had scored a second – that is also 28 goals in 22 Champions League games, already more than Rivaldo and Luis Suárez – before being withdrawn, and City added a third courtesy of a Davit Khocholava own goal in a blistering first half. They scored two more after the break through Riyad Mahrez and Julián Álvarez to run out comfortable winners.

It means they can have qualification sewn up for the last 16 as early as next Tuesday, when they head to the Danish capital for the reverse fixture. “The way we played was magnificent, I’m so satisfied for the guys and how they performed,” Guardiola said. “The result was excellent but I’m really impressed the way we attacked. I’m really, really satisfied and again, compliments to the players.”

Rarely are goalkeepers impressive in a 5-0 defeat but had it not been for the exploits of Copenhagen’s former Liverpool and Huddersfield Town man, Kamil Grabara – whose performance Guardiola labelled “wonderful” – we could easily have been discussing a record-breaking Champions League scoreline here.

City were wonderful all across the field. The likes of Sergio Gómez and Ilkay Gündogan stood out with majestic individual displays.

Haaland had been denied twice more by Grabara before the midway point of the first half, the Poland international already keeping things somewhat respectable.

But when Grabara palmed a Gómez shot into the path of Haaland, he claimed his second with ease. It left Copenhagen’s manager, Jacob Neestrup, in awe of both Haaland and City. “There wasn’t anything we could do,” he said.

Source: The Guardian