By the 35th minute of this desperately one-sided game, Erling Haaland had hit the ball nine times. Four of those keys had been shot on target and two had gone in.
On a night that typified the astonishing efficiency of Manchester City’s new signing, he reached the 19-goal mark for his club and it is only just October.
The Champions League has long since been a playground for the 22-year-old. He now has a goals per game ratio of 1.27, which is better than 98 teams to have played in the competition.
Erling Haaland scored two first half goals to take his season tally to an astonishing 19 goals
The Norwegian forward scored two goals from his first nine touches during the match
Haaland didn’t exactly win this game on his own but as he helped City to a three-goal half-time lead before being substituted it certainly felt like it.
At the end, he was quickly out on to the field in his tracksuit and pumps, jogging round the perimeter of the field waving at the home supporters in the pouring rain. Life looks to be a lot of fun for Haaland at the moment and he is right to enjoy it.
Football is not always as easy as it looks to be to him right now. He is in one of those remarkable veins of form when he is a magnet to the ball, when every sweep of his foot or nod of his head connects cleanly and sends it goalwards.
To Haaland, every chance is an opportunity and the two things are very different indeed to all but the very best players.
Riyad Mahrez also netted on a night that was special for his 200th Man City appearance
To those in the Premier League and Europe who are waiting for a drop in his levels, it may be a while coming. For as strange as it sounds he seems to be playing within himself.
Not only is he big, strong and powerful, his danger seems to be delivered with a minimum of effort, focused on short, sharp and deadly bursts of activity.
Copenhagen were not very good. They were earnest and started well but it didn’t last. They are currently eighth in the Danish league and have lost more than they have won. They looked exactly of that level here.
City’s new hero turned in his second from close range after Jack Grealish’s shot was saved
The hosts were in complete control throughout the 90 mins and had 29 shots on goal in total
It was a surprise in a way that Haaland played at all. City have a game at Liverpool on the not too distant horizon and if he fires fully that day then the Merseyside club’s Premier League challenge could be over before we even get to the winter World Cup.
But if Pep Guardiola’s plan is to keep his man ticking over in this spell of such prolific scoring then it worked perfectly here.
Haaland’s first goal of the night was swept gleefully and powerfully in from ten yards with his right foot. Copenhagen didn’t help themselves. Joao Cancelo’s low cross from the right was deflected but even so Haaland was afforded too much space. The finish was delivered with the air of a man who simply knew the ball was going in.
Grealish was impressive on the night and his performance was serving of a goal
Julian Alvarez scored the fifth for City after a neat move to net his first Champions League goal
For a while afterwards, goalkeeper Kamil Grabara – once on Liverpool’s books – enjoyed himself. City played with a relaxed freedom and moved the ball around well. But Grabara, a Pole, stood between them and a rout, at least for a while.
Bernardo Silva hit a post from a Jack Grealish pass and then Grabara denied Ilkay Gundogan, Haaland, and Grealish (twice) in that order before Haaland struck again to pretty much put the game beyond Copenhagen, even if it wasn’t already.
It was a poor goal to concede once more. Haaland made a play for a corner in the 35th minute and missed it but when Grealish’s shot through the crowd was saved, City’s new hero turned it from close range.
On the touchline, Guardiola oozed satisfaction, smugness even. And who can blame him? The City coach is enjoying a period when nothing his team does stresses him and when Copenhagen defender David Khocholava turned a cross shot from Silva in to his own goal two minutes later, he will not have escaped his notice that the man standing behind him had he missed it was the one with all the goals to his name.
Pep Guardiola brought on several youngsters in the second half, including full-back Rico Lewis
FC Copenhagen tried their best at the Etihad but were overpowered by City’s sheer quality
There were to be no more – at least on this occasion – for Haaland. He was taken off at half-time. He had done his bit once again.
Beyond that it was case of how many for City. Mahrez scored a penalty after Aymeric Laporte had been hauled down in the 54th minute and at this stage City had registered 21 shots while Copenhagen had not managed a single one.
That did change. The Danes threatened twice in 60 seconds with 15 minutes left but couldn’t hit the target and almost immediately Grealish dashed through the middle, fed Mahrez on the right and the low cross was turned in by Julian Alvarez.
There were other decent performances here. Grealish, for one, is improving. But it is hard to view anything at the Etihad right now through anything other than a prism of Haaland’s easy brilliance.
Haaland had continued his spectacular start to the season before he was subbed at half-time
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog with Will Pickworth to relive the action from the Champions League group stage clash between Manchester City and FC Copenhagen.