Manchester City continued to roll on all fronts in the 2022-23 season after a 5-0 demolition job against Danish domestic giants FC København at the Etihad Stadium this evening.
Full credit to the traveling support who remained behind to offer cheers and gratitude to a Byens Hold outfit that was played off the park in every department by Pep Guardiola’s men who were once again spearheaded by none other than Erling Haaland.
The 22-year-old Norwegian goalscoring dynamo added another brace to his CV in what is already a magnificent first season with the Premier League champions, taking his combined goal total for the season to 19; five of which have come in just three Champions League fixtures.
Haaland has already scored 27 in Europe’s premier club competition in only 22 appearances between stints in Salzburg, Dortmund, and now Manchester, already drawing level in the all-time goalscoring in the Champions League with Rivaldo and Luis Suárez.
But City remain so much more than Haaland, and a key performance from Riyad Mahrez was added to a strong outing by Jack Grealish as well as summer signing Sergio Gómez, with the young Spanish left-back offering up evidence that could suggest he is ready for bigger responsibilities in the City XI moving forward and was unlucky to not find the back of the net after a pair of rasping efforts from outside the box were denied by København keeper Kamil Grabara.
This result, in conjunction with Borussia Dortmund’s excellent 4-1 win away at Sevilla, means that City are clear at the top of the table with nine points from their first three outings, and another win in the reverse tie will see them qualify for the knockout stage with two matches to spare.
The Premier League champions are ramping up at the right time.
Champions League – Group Stage
05 October 2022 – 20:00
5 – 0
0102030405060708090HIGHMIDLOWManchester CityFC København
Shots on target160
Stefan Ortega Moreno
Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City Player Ratings
GK: Ederson (6) – Could have probably pitched a tent and made a full three-course meal after City’s opponents managed just two shots across ninety minutes of action.
RB: João Cancelo (7) – A solid outing for the Portuguese right-back tonight where he was tested little while remaining heavily involved in build up. Unlucky to not get an assist for Haaland’s opener.
CB: Rúben Dias (7) – Solid as ever. His job is easier when City are this dominant in possession and in the counter-press, but when called upon he comported himself stoutly as usual.
CB: Aymeric Laporte (7.5) – Back at his best for City despite John Stones performing well in the same role when he has been called upon his season, but the Spaniard will look at this performance as a blueprint to get to Qatar.
LB: Sergio Gómez (7.5) – A very strong outing from the Spanish international who arrived at City this summer unsure if he would fight for a place but evidence from tonight suggests he may be ready for bigger responsibilities.
CM: Ilkay Gündogan (8) – Incredibly calm, collected, composed and still exuding the same confidence and intelligence in being the main command and control center in the middle of the park along with Bernardo Silva.
CM: Bernardo Silva (7.5) – Despite being a former player of the season, Silva remains quietly instrumental in all manner of how City operate on the pitch. Effective and commanding once again.
RW: Riyad Mahrez (9) – A goal and an assist for the Algerian who put in one of his best overall performances ever in a City shirt. Superb from start to finish and maybe deserved even more for his efforts.
LW: Jack Grealish (8) – Should probably feel hard done for not finding the back of the net tonight; the chances were there. Despite that, Grealish showed another level he is capable of but has not regularly shown since his arrival from Villa. Encouraging.
CF: Erling Haaland (9) – Another brace for Haaland and could have ended up with another hat-trick if not for a smart save by Grabara. His rate of return continues to defy all logic and reason.
CF: Julián Álvarez (8) – A goal for the Argentine tonight who, despite competition for places, generally performs well when called upon while boasting clear potential and why City signed him. Hit woodwork to be denied a brace.
Sub: Cole Palmer (6.5) – Palmer was lively off the bench and was involved in plenty of passages of play in what was a credible stint off the bench tonight.
Sub: Rico Mark Lewis (6) – Over 30-minutes for another budding product from the City academy. Lewis will take this cameo and look to build confidence with it.
Sub: Joshua Wilson-Esbrand (6) – Just about 25-minutes of action for Wilson-Esbrand who can view his appearance as motivation to keep pushing in the academy framework.
FC København Player Ratings
GK: Kamil Grabara (7) – Surrendering five goals is never what a keeper wants to see but Kamil Grabara was probably the standout performer for København tonight after making a cadre of top-class saves, including one against Haaland that could have resulted in a hat-trick.
RB: Kevin Diks (6) – Perhaps he could have been given an even lower rating on the night, but some measure of sympathy is required for Diks. At least for him, the majority of City’s goals did not originate from his flank.
CB: Denis Vavro (6) – The Slovakian center-back showed maybe why he did not make the grade in Serie A with Lazio but truthfully, few players can stop City and Haaland this season let alone come out with both boots on their feet.
CB: Davit Khocholava (5) – An own-goal highlighted a very difficult evening for the Georgian international and former Shakhtar Donetsk center-back. Overrun at the back.
LB: Victor Kristiansen (6) – Standard operational procedure from Kristiansen and the rest of the starting back four tonight, who were given no time or space to breathe against City’s relentless attacking onslaught.
DM: Lukas Lerager (6) – The trend of mediocrity on the night was rampant in a København side utterly powerless to stop the onslaught from City at the Etihad tonight, with Lerager unable to operate in a manner he is accustomed to.
CM: Marko Stamenic (5) – Completely overrun on his side of the pitch against Grealish, Gündogan, and Gómez who all combined well throughout and regularly dragged him well out of position. A booking rounded out his frustrations.
CM: Ísak Jóhannesson (5.5) – A similar evening of struggle for Jóhannesson as well as his central partner against City’s dominance in possession and ability to bypass the midfield with ease.
RW: Viktor Claesson (6) – Part of a front three that otherwise can perform on the domestic front and even on the continent, but were given nothing at all to play with tonight in terms of crafting chances.
LW: Mohamed Daramy (6) – Talented in his own right, there was little Daramy or any other København forward could have done with limited service and barely getting a sniff of the attacking third.
CF: Mamoudou Karamoko (6) – A few touches of class and a spirited performance in the press to showcase his credible pace was all that Frenchman could muster while being isolated against a dominant City.
Sub: Valdemar Lund (6) – Came off the bench and managed to register one of København’s two shots all match long. In that regard, he was somewhat of an upgrade over who was chosen over him, but not by much.
Sub: Paul Mukairu (6) – The proud owner of the Danish outfits second shot all match, Mukairu at least boasted fresh legs into the mix but was just as isolated as those he replaced.
Sub: Hákon Haraldsson (6) – Brought on in a bid to freshen up one piece of the entire front three that young manager Jacob Neestrup chose to swap out after proving entirely ineffective. Haraldsson did little better.
Sub: Peter Ankersen (6) – Replaced Diks with a shade under 25-minutes remaining but was unable to make a difference regardless. City were in full control and he was on for the ride.
Sub: Christian Sørensen (N/A) – Received ten minutes off the bench but contributed almost nothing in a match where he had no chance to find his footing. Unfair to run the rule over.
Back in the starting XI! 🕺#ManCity | @Laporte pic.twitter.com/QqPBj3f5cJ
— Manchester City (@ManCity) October 5, 2022
Man City have rejected reports suggesting that Erling Haaland has a ‘Real Madrid clause’ in his contract 🔵❌ pic.twitter.com/hvgUNo6iM0
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) October 5, 2022
Does Erling Haaland start tonight? Win the next two against an out-of-shape Copenhagen and the UCL is done until next year but would be good to see Alvarez. (Meanwhile, there’s no special Haaland/Real Madrid exit clause)
— Jonathan Smith (@jonnysmiffy) October 5, 2022
Erling Haaland is now undoubtedly the most complete striker in the world today
But it’s important to note just how hard he worked to become that player at Borussia Dortmund. He wasn’t born a world class player. He became one.