Álvarez’s goal takes Manchester City to the quarterfinals of the Champions League

MANCHESTER.- He Manchester City continued its march to retain the Champions League title by moving into the quarterfinals of the tournament on Wednesday with a 3-1 victory against Copenhagen.

The goals of Manuel Akanji, the Argentine Julián Álvarez and Erling Haaland at the Etihad Stadium sealed a 6-2 in favor of City on the aggregate scoreboard.

This is the seventh consecutive season that Pep Guardiola’s team has reached the quarterfinal round and this victory extended the unbeaten streak at home in the top continental tournament, a streak of 30 games that dates back to 2018.

On the horizon are duels against several of the giants of European football, such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

But there are few opponents who want to run into the reigning champion, who is bidding to become just the second team — following in Madrid’s wake — to repeat the consecration under the modern format.

Not even the Barcelona that Guardiola led, with Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and company, could achieve that feat. If City manage to lift the trophy again, Guardiola will equal Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti’s record with four Champions League titles.

There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but City’s form looks threatening after extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 20 games.

A repeat of the treble is possible, given that City is one point behind Liverpool, leader of the Premier League and has anchored in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

City face Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield and that was possibly why Guardiola reserved key players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, John Stones and Kyle Walker from the starting line-up against Copenhagen.

City dominated at will:

Their confidence was seen in the 3-1 first leg victory in Denmark. The duel was practically sealed after five minutes when Akanji volleyed and beat goalkeeper Kamil Grabara from an Álvarez corner.

City increased their lead four minutes later when Grabara couldn’t control a long-range shot from Álvarez and the ball slipped out of his hands and into the net. A couple of seconds earlier, Rodri had shaken the crossbar with a header.

Copenhagen, however, scored the best goal of the game in the 29th. Mohamed Elyounoussi drove the ball towards the edge of the area, before starting a one-two play with Orri Oskarsson, who returned the ball with his heel to beat Ederson .

City’s lead was restored in the third minute of first-half stoppage time when Haaland received a long pass, shook off Elias Jelert in the box and fired low into the net.