Phenomenon Haaland shoots City past Leipzig and into quarterfinal CL with five goals
Erling Haaland has shot Manchester City to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with five goals most personally. After the 1-1 in Germany, the Englishmen had no problem at home with German RB Leipzig: 7-0.
Haaland’s numbers in his first season for City are staggering. The Norwegian goal-scoring phenomenon now stands at ten goals in the Champions League and 39 goals in 36 official matches. In doing so, Haaland breaks a record that has stood since 1929, when Tommy Johnson scored 38 times: the Norwegian is now the player who has scored the most times for City in a single season.
With his five goals in one Champions League match, he follows in the footsteps of Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano. Messi once made five on behalf of FC Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 (7-1) and Adriano did the same for Shakhtar Donetsk against Bate Borisov in 2014 (7-0).
Van Nistelrooij record shattered
But it didn’t stop there for the still only 22-year-old striker. Haaland shattered Ruud van Nistelrooij’s record with his second goal against Leipzig. It marked his 30th goal in the Champions League, no player had ever needed fewer duels for that.
Manchester City was, as expected, the better team at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s team deservedly took the lead after more than 22 minutes, but was helped by the referee.
Defender Benjamin Henrichs went under the ball and then unhappily got the ball very lightly tipped onto his arm from behind. After VAR intervened, the ball went to the penalty spot.
Haaland shot the ball from eleven yards impeccably into the corner. For Janis Blaswich, last season’s goalkeeper of relegated Heracles Almelo, there was no stopping him.
Two minutes later, the Norwegian striker struck again. Kevin de Bruyne poked the ball at the crossbar and in the rebound Haaland could easily head in.
Even before halftime, Haaland decided the game with Leipzig and signed for his hat trick. Again he was very attentive to a rebound, after Rúben Dias had headed the ball on the inside of the post.
The match had been played, but that didn’t mean Haaland and City were slowing down. Shortly after halftime, Ilkay Gündogan signed for the 4-0, but then it was really Haaland’s turn again.
With two rebounds, he scored his fourth and fifth goals of the game after less than an hour of play. Haaland then had another half hour to become the first player with six goals in one Champions League game, but his coach Guardiola thought it was enough and pulled him aside to loud applause.
Leipzig and the hapless goalkeeper Blaswich could breathe a sigh of relief after that, because with the substitution of the sniper, City calmly played out the match. Kevin de Bruyne did provide the final chord in injury time with a wonderful strike.