Manchester City are on a mission to win the Champions League, and with the talented Erling Haaland on their side, anything is possible. The Norwegian striker has once again demonstrated his world-class abilities by scoring five goals in their last-16 match against RB Leipzig.
Haaland’s penalty kick was just the beginning of a historic night for him. He scored two quickfire goals in the first half, putting City firmly in control of the tie. It was his second hat-trick in the competition, which is already more than Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, and Wayne Rooney were able to score in their illustrious careers.
Haaland netted his fifth treble of the season, and the second goal saw him become the fastest player in Champions League history to score 30 goals. City were in cruise control heading into the break, but in the second half, Haaland wanted more. He netted in the 53rd and 57th minute to put the tie even further out of Leipzig’s reach before being substituted in the 63rd minute.
Despite the prospect of a double hat-trick, Pep Guardiola defended his decision to bring him off, saying: “If he achieved this milestone at 22, his life would be boring.” Haaland now sits on 39 goals in 36 games for City in all competitions, which is a new record for the club.
It’s clear that the Norwegian is one of the best in the world, and even he is aware of his own incredible ability. “I think after scoring five goals, I have to say scoring goals!” he said in response to former City defender Joleon Lescott on BT Sport asking what his super strength is.
City eventually won 7-0 on the night and 8-1 on aggregate to see them progress to the last eight for the sixth consecutive season. They are yet to lift the Champions League, despite having such star-studded squads in previous campaigns. Haaland could be the man to get them across the line though, especially when he continues to score goals for fun.
TalkSPORT pundit Micky Gray was taken aback by Haaland’s statistics, calling him “an absolute phenomenon.” Gray added: “A freak of nature, something I don’t think we’ve actually seen in the Premier League or the Champions League, certainly not playing for City. His numbers are off the charts.”
Haaland’s performance against RB Leipzig has only added to his growing reputation as one of Europe’s most lethal strikers. Manchester City fans will be hoping that he can be the man to deliver Champions League glory for their team.