Haaland leaves Rooney red-faced as De Bruyne responds in Man City win
Erling Haaland put in a five-star performance to lead Manchester City to a crushing 8-1 aggregate win over RB Leipzig in the quarter-final of the Champions League. Haaland scored an astonishing five goals in the space of 35 minutes in a 7-0 win on the night for Pep Guardiola’s side. Express Sport looks at what we learned from a memorable occasion at the Etihad.
Haaland leaves Rooney red-faced
Haaland is a phenomenon and he is now shining on the biggest of occasions. Some of the records he continues to break are staggering.
Wayne Rooney is Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer but he will be left red-faced following the Norwegian’s latest achievement. Haaland’s second goal of the night was his 30th career strike in the Champions League, in just 25 matches for Borussia Dortmund and City.
Rooney scored 30 during the 85 appearances he made in the competition throughout his entire career. That means Haaland has matched, and now well overtaken, his tally in 60 fewer matches.
He has also become the fastest to 30 goals in the competition’s history, overtaking Ruud van Nistelrooy who did it in 34, as well as leapfrogging Lionel Messi as the youngest. Haaland has also broken Tommy Johnson’s all-time record of most goals for City in a single campaign, which had stood at 38 for 94 years. He now has 39 in just 36 appearances.
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De Bruyne responds
Guardiola was critical of Kevin De Bruyne when speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. He claimed the Belgian must start to do the “simple things” right.
De Bruyne has been in and out of the City starting XI of late. But he was back to his sensational best on Wednesday and gave the perfect response to his manager.
Leipzig were unable to deal with the 31-year-old, although his performance may be forgotten due to Haaland’s brilliance. De Bruyne came close to scoring himself, with a fine left-footed effort coming back off the bar, which led to Haaland heading in his second.
He finally did get himself the goal he deserved in second-half stoppage time. It was a typical finish from the midfielder, nonchalantly curling the ball in from 20 yards out.
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Big title boost
City will now have at least another two matches to play this season and will be hoping to go far in the FA Cup too. But this performance will only stand them in good stead in the Premier League title race.
Arsenal players watching the game may have been wondering how they are five points clear at the top of the table when City have a player of Haaland’s quality. That shows how good a job Mikel Arteta has done at the Emirates.
City don’t play again in the league until April 1 but confidence found from a result like this could last a while. Arsenal know they have to be pretty much faultless to end their title wait.
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