FC Copenhagen prove too slick for Crusaders in European victory

Copenhagens Andrijac Pavlovic fires past  Crusaders goalkeeper Sean ONeill to make it 1-0
Copenhagens Andrijac Pavlovic fires past Crusaders goalkeeper Sean ONeill to make it 1-0

FC Copenhagen turned on the style to inflict a heavy defeat on Danske Bank Premiership champions Crusaders on Tuesday night.

The classy Danes surged to a 6-0 victory at the Telia Parken Stadium – earning a comfortable 9-0 aggregate win.

Copenhagen dominated proceedings last night to progress in the Champions League qualifiers.

Andrija Pavlovic broke the deadlock in the 15th minute and own goal from Andrew Mitchell had Stale Solbakken’s men in control at the break.

They continued to impress in the second half with Andreas Cornelius claiming a brace, while Rasmus Falk and Jan Gregus were also on target to complete the rout.

It was always going to be a massive test for Stephen Baxter’s Crusaders who will now turn their focus to the start of the Irish Premiership in August 6 when they kick-off the defence of their title against Ballymena United.

Baxter made six changes to the line-up that started last week’s home leg in Belfast.

Midfielder Philip Lowry was named in the starting ZI, while fellow summer arrivals Michael Gault and David Cushley were joined Mitchell, Michael Carvill and Jordan Forsythe in the starting panel.

Striker Jordan Owens and winger Paul Heatley were left on the bench.

Copenhagen stretched their aggregate lead in the 15th minute when Pavlovic latched on to a Falk pass to score past Sean O’Neill.

The Danes doubled their lead seconds before the break when the unfortunate Mitchell headed Remmer’s shot into his own net.

It was 3-0 three minutes into the second half when Cornelius claimed the first of his double.

Augustinsson floated a cross to the back post and Cornelius headed past O’Neill from close range.

On 58 minutes Corneliusraced inside the area before cutting the ball back for Falk who forced the ball home from four yards out.

The fifth arrived on 68 minutes when Gregus curled an unstoppable free-kick over the wall and past the sprawling O’Neill from 25 yards.

It was 6-0 on 76 minutes when Cornelius headed an Augustinsson corner home.

FC COPENHAGEN: Anderson, Augustinsson, Cornelius, Antonsson, Gregus, Kusk, Remmer, Pavlovic (Kadrii 63), Toutouh, M Jorgensen (Keita 63), Falk (Amankwaa 63).

CRUSADERS: O’Neill, Burns, Beverland, Gault (Snoddy 68), McClean, Lowry (Owens 60), Caddell, Mitchell, Carvill, Forsythe, Cushley (Heatley 56).

REFEREE: Ante Vucemilovic (Croatia).