With a 7-0 victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday, Erling Haaland tied a Champions League record with a five-goal performance to help Manchester City advance to the quarterfinals. Along the way, Haaland set a new club mark for goals in a season with 39 as Pep Guardiola’s team advanced to the round of eight for the sixth straight year with an 8-1 overall win. Haaland claimed that scoring goals was his superpower. Most of it involves thinking quickly and trying to place the ball where the goalkeeper is not. In Abu Dhabi. Owned City hasn’t won the Champions League on its own yet, but they’ve never had a striker of Haaland’s calibre to make the difference in the finals.
At age 22, he has already scored 33 goals in 25 games in the top club tournament in Europe.
“First of all, I adore playing in this competition,” Haaland said. “Five aims! 7-0 victory is incredible.
The snowy conditions were more suited to Haaland’s own country, but City did not buckle under the duress and maintained their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League alive.
The match was tenuously even after a 1-1 draw in eastern Germany three weeks earlier, but a Leipzig club that was weakened by injuries never felt like a match for their star-studded opponents.
“That was an amazing performance,” remarked Marco Rose, the Leipzig coach.
– Denied record chance –
Kevin De Bruyne was kept in reserve by Guardiola for City’s 1-0 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend, and when he was reinstated to the starting lineup, the Belgian was back to his best.
After just three minutes, Ilkay Gundogan ought to have taken the lead thanks to De Bruyne’s enticing cross.
There was some fortune around City’s first as VAR saw a handball against Benjamin Henrichs that resulted to a penalty that neither the City players nor the crowd ever recognised. On his sixth penalty of the year, Haaland blasted low to Janis Blaswich’s left to keep City’s flawless record from the spot.
Haaland set up De Bruyne for a 2-0 score two minutes later as he hammered a
First, he equaled Tommy Johnson’s record of 38 goals for City in the 1928–1929 season by hammering in at second attempt after Blaswich parried his initial header.In the process, he tied the record of five goals scored in a Champions League match held by Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano.
Yet with 25 minutes left, Guardiola substituted his star striker with Julian Alvarez, denying him the chance to set a new record.
Guardiola jokingly said of the change, “If he accomplishes all these goals at 22, his life will be boring.