New Man City boy Haaland hops over EPL August scoring ‘curse’ with two hattricks and eight goals

New Man City boy Haaland hops over EPL August scoring ‘curse’ with two hattricks and eight goals


He’s only been in England just over seven weeks and Erling Haaland is already rewriting the Premier League record books. On Saturday against Crystal Palace he turned the game on its head with a 19-minute hat-trick.

Four days later and he had to work a bit harder for the match-ball, it took him seven minutes longer.

Nine goals in five blistering matches is the greatest start by any striker in the competition’s history. He overtook the previous best of eight scored by Mick Quinn and a certain Sergio Aguero.

Haaland also now has the record for most goals in August in a single season – and is the quickest to two hat-tricks – by quite some distance.

Pep Guardiola said on Saturday that he and his staff were already ‘completely in love’ with their £51.4 million new boy. And no wonder. No doubt everyone of a sky blue persuasion feels the same.

His fellow new striker Julian Alvarez struck twice while Joao Cancelo was also on the scoresheet after the break as City ran riot. But once again it was Haaland making the headlines.

If he stays injury free and Guardiola does not rotate him too often then the mind boggles over how many he could score in this team. Already he has more than most teams in the table.

Pep had the luxury of resting Kevin de Bruyne ahead of a busy few weeks at home and in Europe, yet they hardly missed him.

Instead, he paired both of his new strikers – Haaland and Alvarez – in the same starting line-up for the first time. Considering the Argentine hotshot’s reputation, newly-promoted Forest must have feared the worst. And it was the £14 million former River Plate man who had the first chance, forcing a save from Dean Henderson as he got on the end of Rodri’s flick.

The on loan United man must have known he was in for a busy night and sure enough he was picking the ball out of the net in the 12 minutes.

Phil Foden’s chipped cross from the left took a slight deflection but fell into the path of Haaland who got ahead of Joe Worrall to stab home. That took his tally to seven – the most by any player in a single August – but he was far from finished there.

First though, Forest could have levelled through recent signing Renan Lodl, who scored the Champions League winner against United the last time he was in town. He got on the end of a cross by Neco Williams but planted his header into the side-netting when he should at least have hit the target.

Wales international Williams should have had an assist there, but he did get one inadvertently at the other end minutes later.

Haaland put Henderson under pressure and the England hopeful made a hash of his rushed clearance. Bernardo Silva and Gundogan worked the ball to Haaland who unselfishly played in Foden down the left.

The England ace was about to shoot when Williams tackled him, but the ball rolled to the Norwegian who had the simple task of sliding home his second. He had only touched the ball five times, and already had two goals.

Defender John Stones saw a goal ruled out for offside as Steve Cooper’s men were in danger of being overwhelmed. But the England defender made amends by teeing up the third goal for Haaland. Joao Cancelo’s delicious ball to the back post with the outside of his foot was put back across goal by Foden.

Stones climbed highest at the back post to nod it into the middle and all Haaland had to do was get his head on it to claim the match-ball. It took the club’s leading scorer Aguero over three years to get his second league hat-trick for City, this guy managed it in four days.

Demba Ba was the previous quickest to achieve the feat in 21 games, compared to Haaland’s five, or four-and-a-half.

Alvarez must feel a bit like the bridesmaid after his arrival this summer but he could have got in on the act just before the break. His fizzing low shot from the edge of the box beat Henderson but thudded against the outside of the post.

Bernardo Silva, who was also involved in the match, will now stay at City after Barcelona’s interest failed to materialise and what a bonus that is for Guardiola. The Portuguese magician found space on the right and rolled the ball back to the edge of the box where his countryman Cancelo was waiting.

He took a touch before letting fly from 20 yards and giving Henderson no chance. All that was missing was a goal for Alvarez on his first start and it finally arrived midway through the second half.

Sub Riyad Mahrez slid the ball through and the Argentine down the right and he beat Henderson with the minimum of fuss.

Guardiola had seen enough and decided he could manage without Haaland, whipping him off for a well-earned break in the 68th minute. In the dying minutes, when Mahrez saw his shot blocked, Alvarez was on hand to wallop into the top corner.

If Haaland is rested this season, then defenders will only have to worry about the Argentine.

  • The Sun report
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