Erling Haaland has everything it takes to end Manchester City’s constant Champions League failures

There are iconic individual performances in the game of football, which usually take place on mass nights in the light. Tuesday was one of them. Manchester attack Erling Haaland five goals in one game set a competition record when his team advanced to the quarter-finals, beating RB Leipzig 7–0 and 8–1 on aggregate. No competitor has scored more goals in a single game and there is simply no better player to take City to the top of European football.

Haaland entered the Champions League scramble on Tuesday averaging just under a goal per game with 34 goals in 35 appearances. Now he’s given himself some wiggle room with three in the first half – his first two came three minutes before the half-hour mark – and two in the second to become the third player to score five in a UCL game. . He will join Lionel Messi at Barcelona in 2012 (managed by Pep Guardiola) and Luis Adriano at Barcelona. Shakhtar Donetsk in 2014 as the only players to score five points.

Haaland and Messi are the only ones who managed it in the playoffs. His fifth goal made it 6-0 with over half an hour left, meaning the record six goals were still in play, but Guardiola sent him off in favor of Julián Álvarez in the 63rd minute as the game already gaining momentum. out of hand.

Haaland had eight shots during the night, but he did not convert more than half of them.


Crazy kicking is nothing new. But reaching the continental pinnacle would be uncharted territory for Manchester’s blue side, and Haaland knows what that display could mean.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Haaland told the Champions League Tonight team at the Etihad Stadium after the game.

“I could have scored more in the first half,” he said. “I [was] alone with the goalkeeper from Nate’s pass [Ake] and I had a rebound with Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan] “I thought he was going to play ball. That’s why I went a little more. If I had fallen two meters, I would have scored. Because he shot the goalkeeper. So in the first half I could score two more goals. And there were crosses from Kevin [De Bruyne] I could be in. There were opportunities, but if I had stayed on the field [longer] no one knows what would have happened. In my mind I think I should always look for the next [opportunity] and try to achieve more and stay hungry. Because maybe someone, if they score five goals, will be happy. You should be happy, but of course you should want more.”

The carefree Norwegian did it in almost every possible way, closing the net accurately, cleaning in front of the net, scoring penalties, heading home and more. While he has ways of catching up to Sergio Aguero in terms of statistics, he could surpass him in status at the end of the season if he continues to follow this trend. Haaland is the fastest player ever to score 10, 20 and 30 goals in the Champions League. It also looks like the answer to the City’s UCL dreams.

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There were fears that the night could be another unnecessary nightmare in Europe for Manchester City, which the likes of Tottenham, Monaco and others have done all too often in years past. They were so close to climbing this European mountain, losing in the final Chelsea in 2021 and reaching the semi-finals twice more, including last season. But now they have what they never had – the best clean hitter in the world.

This is not the Manchester City of the past, with a squad filled with the best players in the world, but with a defense that can let them down all too often, with an attack that sometimes just didn’t show up when it mattered. This is a team that has a future multiple Ballon d’Or winner who has what it takes to become a true legend of the game and successfully lift it to the top.

Whether that will eventually happen remains to be seen, but City are in a better position than ever to achieve their ultimate goal. This club is no longer measured by Premier League titles as winning this was nothing new.

This performance in no way satisfies the 22-year-old superstar as he is well aware that the competition his heart desires most and fans most desire may soon finally be theirs. That’s why he passionately wears this light blue set, the same as his father years ago.

“You have to be happy, but of course you have to want more,” Haaland said.

“They have won the Premier League four times in the last five years, so they haven’t led me to win the Premier League.”


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