- Erling Haaland’s five-goal performance helped Manchester City reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League with an 8-1 aggregate victory over RB Leipzig.
- Haaland’s impressive record of 33 goals in 25 Champions League appearances at just 22 years old showcases his goal-scoring prowess.
- Manchester City’s acquisition of Haaland could potentially make the difference in the latter stages of the tournament, as he becomes their first striker of his caliber.
On Tuesday, Erling Haaland helped Manchester City breeze into the quarter-finals by matching a Champions League record with five goals, resulting in a 7-0 win over RB Leipzig. Haaland’s impressive performance also earned him a new club record for scoring 39 goals in a single season, enabling Pep Guardiola’s squad to reach the quarter-finals for the sixth consecutive year with a resounding 8-1 aggregate victory. According to Haaland, his “super strength” is his ability to score goals, which he attributes to his quick thinking and aim to avoid the goalkeeper’s reach. Despite never having won the Champions League, the Abu Dhabi-owned team has never before had a striker of Haaland’s caliber to potentially make the difference in the latter stages.
With an impressive record of 33 goals in 25 appearances in Europe’s elite club competition at just 22 years old, Erling Haaland expressed his pride and love for playing in the Champions League after matching a record with five goals in Manchester City’s 7-0 victory against RB Leipzig. Despite the snowy weather, City remained composed and kept their Champions League hopes alive, impressively overcoming a 1-1 draw from the previous match. On the other hand, a depleted Leipzig side struggled to keep up with their star-studded rivals.
Leipzig coach Marco Rose praised City’s incredible performance and acknowledged that his team had no control throughout the match, leading to a disappointing outcome for his side. Meanwhile, City manager Pep Guardiola kept Kevin De Bruyne on the bench during their Premier League match against Crystal Palace but brought him back into the starting lineup for the Champions League match. De Bruyne returned to form, setting up Ilkay Gundogan’s missed opportunity to open the scoring, and City benefited from a VAR decision that awarded them a penalty for a handball that had gone unnoticed by both players and the crowd.
Haaland extended his perfect penalty record to six goals for City by striking low to Janis Blaswich’s left, opening the scoring. Two minutes later, he assisted Kevin De Bruyne, who hit the bar before Haaland powered home a header from the rebound, making it 2-0. Before halftime, Haaland completed his hat-trick as Ruben Dias’ header bounced off the post, ricocheted off Amadou Haidara, and went in. Four minutes into the second half, Ilkay Gundogan scored with a classy finish, increasing City’s lead.
Haaland’s goal-scoring prowess reached new heights when he matched Tommy Johnson’s record of 38 goals for City in the 1928-29 season with his fourth goal of the match. With a rebound from a Manuel Akanji shot, he surpassed Johnson’s record and leveled with Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano’s record of scoring five goals in a Champions League game. However, City manager Pep Guardiola prevented Haaland from attempting to set another record by substituting him with Julian Alvarez 25 minutes before the end of the match. De Bruyne completed the 7-0 thrashing by curling a superb strike into the top corner in stoppage time.