Manchester City strengthened their grip on top spot in UEFA Champions League (UCL) Group G with a commanding 5-0 victory over FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium, extending their unbeaten home streak in the competition to 22 matches.
Pep Guardiola made five changes to the City side that dismantled rivals Manchester United 6-3 last time out, but there were no signs of rust in the opening exchanges, with the hosts finding an early breakthrough after just seven minutes. João Cancelo’s low cross was deflected into the path of Erling Haaland, and with his first touch of the contest, the Norwegian composed himself to fire a clinical strike beyond Kamil Grabara.
City continued to assert their authority on proceedings, as the visitors desperately looked to avoid further damage. Bernardo Silva saw a powerful strike cannon against the base of the post, while Haaland, İlkay Gündoğan, and Jack Grealish all had efforts superbly thwarted by Grabara. The second goal finally arrived just after the half-hour mark, as Haaland again found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home from inside the six-yard box.
The dominant hosts looked determined to extend their advantage before HT, and added a fortunate third when Sergio Gómez’s driven delivery was diverted into his own net by Davit Khocholava. With the luxury of a three-goal lead, City opted to rest Haaland for the second half, leaving Riyad Mahrez on penalty-taking duties to confidently convert his side’s fourth after Marko Stamenic hauled down Aymeric Laporte.
With time ticking into the final half-hour, the Citizens gradually took their foot off the gas, but they were still able to score a brilliant late fifth when Grealish charged through midfield to slide in Mahrez, who took a touch before squaring to Julián Álvarez to slot in his first UCL goal. The result leaves City top of Group G with three wins from three, meanwhile Copehagen drop to the bottom of the standings, five points adrift of Borussia Dortmund in second.