Man City's Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland has scored 41 Champions League goals in 37 appearances

Manchester City enjoyed the perfect warm-up for Sunday’s crucial Premier League trip to Liverpool as they cruised past Copenhagen to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for a sixth successive season.

Ahead by two goals from the first leg in Copenhagen three weeks ago, any lingering hopes of a shock were ended within nine minutes as Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez found the net.

Erling Haaland went joint top of the tournament scoring charts alongside Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe as he netted his sixth of the campaign – and 29th in all competitions – as City scored a third before half-time after the visitors had pulled one back.

The Norwegian, who Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reminded everyone Manchester United could have signed in 2019 on the ‘Stick to Football’ podcast, has scored in three successive games for the first time since October.

It is good news for City boss Pep Guardiola before the Anfield encounter.

Guardiola had said in the build-up he would not be spending any time thinking about Liverpool until the Copenhagen match was out of the way.

That statement was exposed by the fact he made seven changes to the side that beat Manchester United at the weekend and then replaced key man Rodri at the break.

The changes did not hinder City, who are on the longest current run of successive Champions League quarter-final appearances. The only English club to ever have done better in the competition is Manchester United, who reached the last eight in seven consecutive seasons from 1996-97 to 2002-03.

Instant replay

The last thing you would want after gifting the opposition a goal is to have the embarrassment replayed so everyone in the stadium could see all the gory details.

Sadly for former Liverpool and Huddersfield goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, that was his fate.

The Poland international already knew he had let Alvarez’s shot from the side of the penalty area slip through his fingers after Rodri’s header was only half cleared when it came back off the bar.

A capacity crowd was unaware of the scale of the mess-up and the gasp that echoed round the stadium as the replay was shown on the big screen in the corner will not have made Grabara feel any better.

It was Alvarez’s 16th goal of an another excellent season and must have been a concern for Copenhagen’s on-loan Scotland defender Scott McKenna, who was part of a Nottingham Forest side that lost by six in this stadium last term.

As it turned out, Copenhagen rallied and former Southampton man Mohamed Elyounoussi halved the deficit with a precise 12-yard finish into the corner after 29 minutes.

The goal stung City, who had been ahead early after Akanji had held off Peter Ankersen to sweep home a first-time shot from Alvarez’s corner.

Haaland restored the home side’s advantage when he drove home in first-half stoppage time.

More to follow.

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Manchester City

Starting XI

  1. Squad number31Player nameEderson
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  2. Squad number82Player nameLewis
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  3. Squad number25Player nameAkanji
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  4. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
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  5. Squad number24Player nameGvardiol
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  6. Squad number16Player nameRodri
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  7. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
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  8. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes
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  9. Squad number52Player nameBobb
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  10. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez
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  11. Squad number9Player nameHaaland
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  1. Squad number5Player nameStones
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  2. Squad number21Player nameGómez
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  3. Squad number56Player nameWright
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  4. Squad number92Player nameHamilton
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FC Copenhagen

Starting XI

  1. Squad number1Player nameGrabara

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  2. Squad number3Player nameVavro

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  3. Squad number2Player nameDiks

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  4. Squad number26Player nameMcKenna

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  5. Squad number22Player nameAnkersen

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  6. Squad number36Player nameClem

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  7. Squad number10Player nameElyounoussi

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  8. Squad number19Player nameJelert

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  9. Squad number47Player nameFroholdt

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  10. Squad number30Player nameAchouri

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  11. Squad number18Player nameÓskarsson

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  1. Squad number8Player nameMattsson

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  2. Squad number14Player nameCornelius

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  3. Squad number24Player nameMeling

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  4. Squad number39Player nameHøjlund

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  5. Squad number40Player nameBardghji

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Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 82Lewis
  • 25Akanji
  • 3Rúben DiasSubstituted forStonesat 68′minutes
  • 24Gvardiol
  • 16RodriSubstituted forGómezat 45′minutes
  • 8Kovacic
  • 27NunesSubstituted forHamiltonat 74′minutes
  • 52Bobb
  • 19Álvarez
  • 9HaalandSubstituted forWrightat 88′minutes


  • 2Walker
  • 5Stones
  • 6Aké
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 18Ortega
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 21Gómez
  • 33Carson
  • 47Foden
  • 56Wright
  • 76Susoho
  • 92Hamilton

FC Copenhagen

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Grabara
  • 3Vavro
  • 2Diks
  • 26McKenna
  • 22Ankersen
  • 36ClemSubstituted forHøjlundat 69′minutes
  • 10Elyounoussi
  • 19JelertSubstituted forMelingat 78′minutes
  • 47FroholdtSubstituted forMattssonat 58′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 30AchouriSubstituted forBardghjiat 58′minutes
  • 18ÓskarssonSubstituted forCorneliusat 69′minutesBooked at 84mins


  • 6Sørensen
  • 8Mattsson
  • 11Larsson
  • 14Cornelius
  • 20Boilesen
  • 24Meling
  • 31Rúnarsson
  • 39Højlund
  • 40Bardghji
  • 61Buur

Espen Eskås

Match Stats

Live Text

  1. Match ends, Manchester City 3, FC Copenhagen 1.

  2. Second Half ends, Manchester City 3, FC Copenhagen 1.

  3. Attempt missed. Mohamed Elyounoussi (FC Copenhagen) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Birger Meling following a fast break.

  4. Attempt blocked. Rico Lewis (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Julián Álvarez.

  5. Foul by Micah Hamilton (Manchester City).

  6. Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Attempt blocked. Micah Hamilton (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Julián Álvarez.

  8. Magnus Mattsson (FC Copenhagen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Rico Lewis (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Foul by Magnus Mattsson (FC Copenhagen).

  11. Attempt missed. Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Roony Bardghji.

  12. Rico Lewis (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Foul by Birger Meling (FC Copenhagen).

  14. Substitution, Manchester City. Jacob Wright replaces Erling Haaland.

  15. Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Manuel Akanji (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Foul by Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen).

  18. Attempt blocked. Magnus Mattsson (FC Copenhagen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andreas Cornelius.

  19. Manuel Akanji (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Foul by Magnus Mattsson (FC Copenhagen).