City punishes a bureaucratic Copenhagen | Soccer | Sports

Manchester City settled their place in the quarterfinals at the Parken in Denmark, the scene of a splendid match, and Copenhagen signed the armistice at the Etihad this Wednesday. The return had little more than a testimonial nature. City’s intimidation power led the second game before the opening whistle. The balance, 6-2, reflects the good moment that Guardiola’s team is going through in one of the most complicated situations that he has gone through since 2016.


Ederson Moraes, Rúben Dias (John Stones, min. 68), Manuel Akanji, Rico Lewis, Gvardiol, Rodrigo (Sergio Gómez, min. 45), Julián Álvarez, Matheus (Micah Hamilton, min. 74), Oscar Bobb, Kovacic and Erling Braut Haaland (Jacob Wright, min. 88)



Kamil Grabara, Kevin Diks, Vavro, Scott McKenna, Elias Jelert, Mohammed Elyounoussi, P. Ankersen, William Clem, Elias Achouri, Victor Froholdt and Orri Steinn Óskarsson (Cornelius, min. 68)

Goals 1-0 min. 5: Manuel Akanji. 2-0 min. 9: Julián Álvarez. 2-1 min. 28: Mohammed Elyounoussi. 3-1 min. 47: Erling Braut Haaland.

Referee Espen Eskås

Yellow cards Cornelius (min. 83) and Magnus Mattsson (min. 89)

Guardiola managed the 1-3 in the first leg with strategic sense. He regulated the advantage as one takes advantage of the interval preceding the storm. With a view to the trip to Anfield next Sunday, to fight a duel worth half the Premier League, he reserved the legs of Bernardo, De Bruyne, Stones, Walker, Foden and – in the second half – those of Rodri, who did not leave the locker room after Rest. He took a small risk. The relaxation that Copenhagen showed from the start justified it. After five minutes, Akanji sent a corner into the net with a volley that was approved by the softness of his marker. Minutes later, after Rodri’s header hit the post in another set piece, Julián Álvarez doubled Grabara’s hands with a missile: 2-0.

The facilities provided by Copenhagen, inflamed in the first leg and bureaucratic in the return, created a disconcerting atmosphere. The English fans watched the spectacle silently, as comfortable as their players. Only the Danish fans broke the still night air with a chorus of chants. On the grass, Matheus and Kovacic disconnected at times, as if they felt that there were not always reasons to intervene in plays that did require their participation. The activity of Bobb and Álvarez in the exchanges did not compensate for the intermittency of the two interiors, even though they piled up in the middle in an attempt to create superiorities and divide the pressure in the core of the defensive group.

The interferences of Matheus and Kovacic slowed down circulation, isolated Haaland, and numbed City’s senses. The team lost its ability to react when before half an hour a pass from Bobb to Haaland was intercepted and turned into a counterattack. Eyounoussi, Copenhagen’s factotum, carried him forward without Bobb, Akanji or Rodri managing to interrupt his career. Óskarsson returned the backheel wall to make it 2-1

It feels very bad for City to slow down the pace of the ball. Having it is no longer enough, neither to disrupt defenses nor to sharpen the competitive instinct. The goals helped consolidate the pass to the quarterfinals more than the game. The goal that extinguished the visitors’ hopes was the work of Haaland, in first-half stoppage time. The Norwegian controlled a pass from Rodri between the centre-backs, who were circumstantially advanced, and punished them with a whip at the near post after feinting at the second. It was a demonstration of the relentless nature of the nine when they give him some space. It was a replica of Mbappé’s shot on Tuesday in Anoeta. Sign that the nines of reference do not lose track.

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