Haaland scores as Man City advance in Champions League

By Majesty 3 Min Read

Manchester City defeated FC Copenhagen 3-1 to easily advance to the Champions League quarterfinals for the seventh straight year.

Early goals from Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez put City ahead, and after Erling Haaland scored his 29th goal of the year, Pep Guardiola’s team won 6-2 overall at the Etihad Stadium.

Mohamed Elyounoussi, a former Southampton player, gave Copenhagen a scare, but there was never any doubt that City would advance to the round of eight.

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In an effort to win an unprecedented treble in back-to-back games, City mainly played the game slowly in order to save energy for more difficult tasks later on.

From the team that defeated Manchester United in the derby on Sunday, Guardiola made seven changes. Phil Foden, who won the game, Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, John Stones, and Bernardo Silva were among the players who started on the bench.

That appeared Guardiola had his eye on this weekend’s crucial Premier League trip to Liverpool, and inside five minutes, Akanji’s volley put them ahead, confirming his selection.

The defender advanced for a corner, swinging his boot out almost carelessly to meet Alvarez’s cross with a lovely stroke.

Four minutes later, Alvarez extended the lead following a disastrous mistake made by custodian Kamil Grabara, who had been among the Danes’ most impressive players during the first game.

Rodri was the first player Alvarez found, and he banged a header against the crossbar. After a partial clearance of the ball, the Argentine regained possession and curled in a shot.

The ball got past Grabara’s fingers and into the net, even though he ought to have claimed it.

Following their utter dominance in last month’s meeting in Denmark, which left no room for question, City seemed to have completed the task quickly.

Nevertheless, despite their superiority and possession, the hosts were taken by surprise at the thirty-minute mark when a rare Copenhagen break occurred.

Elyounoussi converted defence into attack by breaking down the left, finding Orri Oskarsson inside the box, and then using his back heel to put a beautiful goal past Ederson.

Even if City was scarcely uneasy, that at least offered Copenhagen’s boisterous supporters something to cheer about.

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At the end of the first half, Haaland equalised the score with a low shot inside the near post after controlling a lofted Rodri ball.

Towards the end of the match, City relaxed and played smoothly.

It is impressive that Copenhagen persevered and managed to put together several assaults even though they didn’t see much of the ball, as manager Jacob Neestrup had promised.

In fact, Elyounoussi blasted over when substitute Magnus Mattsson challenged Ederson with a crisp shot on the turn.

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