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Haaland's having a laugh! Man City winners, losers and ratings from Champions League rout of Copenhagen

5:32 PM EDT 10/5/22
Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23 HIC 16:9
The unstoppable Norwegian striker made it 28 goals in 22 games in the Champions League with a first-half double at the Etihad.

If the Premier League hasn't found a way to stop Erling Haaland, there was little chance that an out-of-form Copenhagen could.

It took just over half an hour for the striker to score twice in Wednesday night's Champions League tie at the Eithad, before a David Khocholova own goal saw the hosts move three goals ahead before the break.

Haaland didn't come back out for the second half but his withdrawal didn't stop the City juggernaut.

A Riyad Mahrez penalty and Julian Alvarez made the score even more emphatic as Pep Guardiola's side made it three wins out of three in Europe this season.

Below, GOAL runs through the winners and losers from their latest Haaland-inspired triumph...

  • Erling Haaland Manchester City Copenhagen 2022-23

    The Winners

    Erling Haaland:

    Pep Guardiola's smile after just over six minutes of play said it all.

    After the Norwegian striker's first glimpse of goal, the ball was already in the back of Copenhagen's net, with goalkeeper Kamil Grabara rooted to the spot.

    It's now 19 goals in his first 12 appearances for City, 28 in 22 Champions League matches overall. Indeed, he now has more goals in this tournament than Luis Suarez and Rivaldo. Haaland's basically having a laugh on the club game's grandest stage.

    Grabara did at least make one spectacular save to stop him getting another hat-trick but City's new No.9 still looks poised to break all sorts of records this season, and for years to come.

    Pep Guardiola:

    The first milestone on the City boss's checklist each season is qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

    That's why he started with such a strong team and why that box is now likely to be ticked in Denmark next week.

    Copenhagen have been struggling of late, so they came to try to soak up as much pressure as they could and make it difficult for the Premier League champions. But they didn't.

    City cruised to victory and Guardiola is now in the enviable position of being able to prioritise the Premier League until the New Year.

    Aymeric Laporte:

    It will have been a huge relief for the Spanish international to be back in the starting line-up after a frustrating few months.

    With an injury-ravaged backline, Laporte played through the pain barrier at the end of last season to ensure City held onto their Premier League title.

    But an operation in the summer meant that he has been forced to miss the opening months of the season.

    He got his first minutes towards the end of the Manchester derby when United grabbed a couple of consolation goals, but this was a much more straightforward assignment.

    Julian Alvarez:

    Is there any striker in the world that would like to be battling Haaland for a starting place?

    It's certainly a tough task for Julian Alvarez, who joined City from River Plate during the summer, and he will have to be patient when it comes to leading the line.

    However, against Copenhagen, he showed that he can play just behind Haaland effectively, and offer Guardiola yet another attacking strategy.

    And when a sight of goal came his way after the Norwegian had departed, his run and finish were perfect.

  • Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23

    The Losers

    European rivals:

    City may have never won the Champions League, but none of their potential rivals will want to face them this season.

    A total of 11 goals in four days is the sort of form that makes every opponent sit up and take notice.

    With Haaland adding so many goals to a brilliant side, even the biggest of European giants will be getting extremely nervous ahead of the draw for the knockout stage.

    After all, the striker will sit out the World Cup, meaning he will be fresh when the Champions League restarts in 2023.

    Jacob Neestrup:

    The Copenhagen coach's priority must be sorting out his team's domestic form, which sees them sitting sixth after one win in five games.

    So, a visit to possibly the strongest side in Europe is the last thing he would have wanted for his already confidence-sapped squad.

    The even worse news is that he now has only six days to pick his players up before they have to face the Premier League champions again.

    After watching Manchester United ship six at the weekend, conceding only five might have come as a relief.

  • Aymeric Laporte Manchester City 2022-23

    Ratings: Defence

    Ederson (6/10):

    An easy night for the Brazilian and there were no sloppy mistakes in the backline to impact his clean sheet.

    Joao Cancelo (7/10):

    Not quite as effective as he normally is on the left, but still impressive going forward. Speedy winger Viktor Claesson threatened him on a couple of occasions but the Portuguese stood up to the challenge well.

    Ruben Dias (7/10):

    Back in the side and given very little to do defensively as he spent the majority of the game in the opposition half.

    Aymeric Laporte (7/10):

    A welcome return and has given Guardiola another headache as he now has five top-class centre backs to choose from.

    Sergio Gomez (7/10):

    His most impressive performance since joining in the summer as he added to City's attack by taking up strong positions and his cross/shot led to Khocholova's own goal.

  • Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City Copenhagen 2022-23

    Midfield

    Ilkay Gundogan (8/10):

    Controlled the attack majestically and set the tempo from slightly further forward as City pushed the visitors back deep inside their own half.

    Bernardo Silva (7/10):

    Worked well alongside Gundogan with his clever movement always offering a passing angle. His only misjudgement came in front of goal, as he hit the post with one effort and blasted an even better chance over the bar.

  • Riyad Mahrez Manchester City Copenhagen 2022-23

    Attack

    Riyad Mahrez (7/10):

    Stretched the visitors incessantly and bagged an assist, as well as his first goal of the season, from the penalty spot.

    Julian Alvarez (8/10):

    Worked hard as a second striker, flitting back on the rare occasions that the visitors threatened, before getting a deserved goal in the second half.

    Erling Haaland (8/10):

    Guardiola wants him to be more involved and he had more touches outside the box than usual - as well as scoring twice before being given a rest at the break.

    Jack Grealish (7/10):

    Showed his frustration at squandering three chances but, as his performances improve, so will his stats.

  • Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Cole Palmer (7/10):

    Had some wonderful touches as he added to Copenhagen's discomfort with his clever wing play.

    Rico Lewis (6/10):

    Some useful minutes in Europe for the teenager, who fitted seamlessly into the City backline.

    Josh Wilson-Esbrand (6/10):

    First minutes of the season and effectively played more as a left winger than a full-back!

    Pep Guardiola (8/10):

    Copenhagen looked beaten before they had even kicked off but the City boss still knew how to take them apart. He was quick to rest key players for the weekend and give opportunities to academy players, making this a very satisfying night's work for the Catalan.