Manchester City reached the quarter-final of the 2023/24 Champions League with a 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium.

The victory saw Pep Guardiola’s defending European champions complete a 6-2 aggregate success after a 3-1 win in the Danish capital last month.

Goals from Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez in the first 10 minutes gave us a four-goal advantage in the tie, before Copenhagen attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back just ahead of the half hour.

Quarter-final draw explainer

Erling Haaland’s clinical finish on the cusp of half-time restored the four-goal margin and ensured a comfortable second period for the Blues.

The result made it 30 games since our last Champions League defeat at the Etihad – a run stretching back to September 2018 – and 22 matches unbeaten in total in Europe.

We have won our last 10 matches in the Champions League, becoming the first English side to achieve that figure.

This is the seventh successive season we have been in the last eight of the competition, a longer run than any other side in Europe.

We’re enjoying an excellent run of form since early December, having now won 18 of 20 games in all competitions since our last defeat.

What happened

Just three days on from another famous Manchester derby victory and a tussle with Premier League title contenders looming large on the horizon, Pep Guardiola made seven changes to his side.

It was two of those introductions who combined to open the scoring less than five minutes after kick-off.

Manuel Akanji swung a right boot at Julian Alvarez’s corner, connecting sweetly and seeing it hit the back of the net before goalkeeper Kamil Grabara could react.

With that added cushion, City were free to play without fear.

After a weaving Oscar Bobb run and Rodrigo header could both have doubled our advantage on the night, it was Alvarez who claimed City’s second.

The Argentinian whipped the ball from wide on the left with great pace but former Liverpool man Grabara will still be disappointed he wasn’t able to cling on.

Instead, it burst through the Polish international’s hands and dropped over the line.

A subdued 20 minutes followed before Mohamed Elyounoussi exchanged passes with Victor Froholdt and slid the ball under Ederson to give Copenhagen a goal back.

It seemed half-time would arrive without any further incident until, with the last play of the period, Rodrigo picked out Erling Haaland with a cross-field ball.

The Norwegian took it down, shifted it on to his left and deceived Grabara with a low shot inside the near post.

With 20 minutes gone in the second period, it appeared possible that neither goalkeeper would be called into further action.

However, it was Ederson who had to make the next save - blocking Oskarsson’s hit down the middle.

Guardiola took his side’s comfort as further opportunity to rotate his players but was forced into replacing Matheus Nunes, who appeared to dislocate his finger when cushioning a fall.

Rico Lewis came within inches of adding a fourth on the night when his shot deflected on to the bar but on the whole, City passed the ball around the midfield in the closing stages to complete another satisfactory night’s work.


CITY XI: Ederson, Lewis, Akanji, Dias (C) (Stones 68), Gvardiol, Rodrigo (Gomez 45), Kovacic, Bobb, Alvarez, Nunes (Hamilton 73), Haaland (Wright 88)

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Carson, Walker, Ake, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Susoho

COPENHAGEN XI: Grabara (C), Diks, Vavro, Elyounoussi, Oskarsson (Hojlund 68), Jelert (Meling 78), Ankersen, McKenna, Achouri (Bardghji 57), Clem (Cornelius 68), Froholdt (Mattsson 57)

Subs: Runarsson, Buur, Sorensen, Larsson, Cornelius, Boilesen, Hojlund

Man of the match

Julian Alvarez - The Argentinian is never far from the action.

He’s been a key player in several different roles this season with Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland out in spells, and he demonstrated his all facets of his game tonight.

It was his corner in the fifth minute that Akanji turned home brilliantly.

Shortly afterwards, he got a goal of his own with a powerfully hit shot. Alvarez will concede it should have been stopped, but you have to buy a ticket to win the lottery.

Operating in the space behind Haaland all night, Alvarez again demonstrated just what a key asset he is to this squad.

Fortress etihad

It’s now 1,995 days since our last home defeat in the UEFA Champions League.

That’s 30 matches and by some margin the English record, which was previously held by Arsenal on 24.

We’ve won 28 of those 30 matches, scored 97 goals and used the Etihad Stadium as the battle ground for two runs all the way to the final and our first ever Champions League trophy last season.

It was Lyon in the group stage of the 2018/19 campaign who last overcame Pep Guardiola‘s side on our turf.

Manuel Akanji reaction

“The first two goals we scored in the first half made it easier for us because we were up four goals.

“So it was pretty hard for them to come back. We had a little phase where we didn’t play well, then we came out in the second half and we tried to do our best.

“We did what we had to do today.

“For Copenhagen to come here after losing the first game, it’s pretty hard for them to come back from this.

“That was our goal, to score early because as long as it stayed 0-0 they had hope to come back. We did what we had to do.”

Pep Guardiola reaction

“I am going to tell you we went through with such a difficult team. Copenhagen.

“They are a difficult opponent. So well organised. And, of course, to be part of the titles we need everyone. That’s why we used it. Really pleased with the performance. 

“The people expect a lot of things but I know how difficult it is. For another year we are in the best eight teams in Europe.

“The draw, next Friday, we will be there. Incredibly happy we are still in all competitions.”

What it means

City have reached the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League for a seventh successive season.

We now go into the draw, which will cover the last eight and the semi-final, on Friday 15 March to discover our prospective route to this year’s final.

That draw is completely open, meaning we can face any of the remaining sides in the competition.

What’s next

City travel to Anfield on Sunday for a huge Premier League clash with current leaders Liverpool. Kick-off in that match is 15:45 (UK).

A victory would see us go top of the table as we hunt a record fourth successive title.

News about Man City v FC Copenhagen

Akanji nominated for UCL Player of the Week

Manuel Akanji's performance against FC Copenhagen has seen him nominated for the UEFA Champions League Player of the Week award. Read more

Highlights: City 3-1 FC Copenhagen

Watch the best of the action from our UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg with FC Copenhagen at the Etihad Stadium. Watch more

City reach 30 Champions League games unbeaten at the Etihad

City’s 3-1 victory over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night made it 30 Champions League games unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium. Read more

Pitcam highlights: City 3-1 FC Copenhagen

Watch our Champions League last-16 second leg victory over FC Copenhagen from a unique vantage point... Watch more

Full-match replay: City v FC Copenhagen

Watch the full 90 minutes as City looked to make it into the 2023/24 Champions League quarter-finals. Watch more

Academy players get reward for hard work and mentality - Houghton

City’s Champions League victory over FC Copenhagen was another big night for our Academy and Steph Houghton says the youngsters are earning their opportunities. Read more

Guardiola: I know how difficult it is

Pep Guardiola says he does not take City's Champions League progress for granted. Watch more

Guardiola: We needed fresh legs

Pep Guardiola says the numerous changes he made against FC Copenhagen were due to the tiredness of many players who featured in the Manchester derby on Sunday. Read more

City become first English team to 10 successive Champions League wins

City’s 3-1 win over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday meant we became the first English club ever to register 10 successive wins in the Champions League. Read more