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Key talking points as City cruise into Champions League last eight
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Adam Drury at the Etihad
Erling Haaland scored in Manchester City's win
Erling Haaland scored in Manchester City's win

Manchester City qualified for their seventh consecutive Champions League quarter-finals after seeing off FC Copenhagen 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Manuel Akanji, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland scored first-half goals for City, who progress 6-2 on aggregate after Mohamed Elyounoussi's consolation.

We analyse the key talking points from an easy night for the hosts.

Mix and match

Pep Guardiola would never admit to prioritising future matches — but his team selection at the Etihad tonight suggested he was.

Already leading 3-1 on aggregate and with a trip to Anfield coming on Sunday, Guardiola drafted Rico Lewis, Oscar Bobb and Matheus Nunes into his starting XI with John Stones, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and other regulars benched.

It ensured that the substitutes' pre-match game of keep-ups took on an extra level of quality.

And while the stand-ins are very capable, it also made clear that the hosts expected a comfortable night.

Cruise control

And a comfortable night it was.

City led 2-0 through Akanji and Alvarez after just 10 minutes, extending their total lead to 5-1 and ruling out an upset.

Not that Copenhagen did not fight, scoring themselves via former Southampton man Elyounoussi in the first half, and they enjoyed their best period of the game until Haaland netted just before the break.

But there was next to no jeopardy for the Treble winners, who whipped Rodri, Ruben Dias and the Norwegian off the pitch at various stages.

Bobb on

It was Bobb who most seized his chance to impress of City's fresh faces.

Deployed in the No10 role behind compatriot Haaland, the 20-year-old was the bright spark of the game with his dribbling skills particularly impressing.

More than once he darted between two bodies with the ball, opening up the game for his side and demonstrating that he is worthy of more minutes as City juggle their busy fixture list between now and — potentially — June.

Bobb signed a new five-year deal last week and seems likely to have a serious long-term future at the Etihad.

Oscar Bobb impressed for Manchester City
Oscar Bobb impressed for Manchester City

Crunch time

With a potential banana skin against Copenhagen comfortably navigated, City will now feel that the real business of defending their European crown is about to begin.

Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have also qualified for the quarter-finals, indicating a step up in quality of opposition is imminent.

But having now won 12 consecutive home games in this competition, including 3-0 and 4-0 dismantlings of Bayern and Real in the quarter and semi-finals last season, nothing will faze the reigning champions.

And at this stage, a third European showdown in four years at Wembley on Saturday, June 1 appears more likely than not.

Worrying trend

This game did add to the feeling that the Champions League matches are increasingly becoming too one-sided.

While City will be delighted with their progress, all of they, Bayern and PSG have qualified for the next round with plenty to spare in a European week that only featured much drama in the Real vs RB Leipzig tie.

Admittedly, plenty of the closer ties will resume next Tuesday and Wednesday, with Barcelona and Napoli's head-to-head particularly enticing.

But it is still far from ideal that only now are we seemingly left with clubs who could realistically win the tournament.


Champions LeagueManchester CityF.C. Copenhagen
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