Erling Haaland’s 5 goals take Manchester City past RB Leipzig
MANCHESTER, England — Erling Haaland struck five as Manchester City beat RB Leipzig 7-0 to secure their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
City reached the last eight for the sixth straight year after Haaland hit the net five times in under an hour at the Etihad Stadium. Ilkay Gündogan and Kevin De Bruyne were also on the list of goalscorers in the defeat.
Haaland has become the third player, after Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano, to score five goals in a Champions League game and to break City’s goals record in a season less than a year after joining from Borussia Dortmund.
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1. Haaland’s five breaks mark Mbappe and Messi
The numbers Erling Haaland is generating in his first season in England are astounding and only getting more impressive. After five goals against RB Leipzig – including his fifth hat-trick of the season – the Norwegian has now scored 39 goals, already one more than City’s season record of 38 set by Tommy Johnson in 1928/29. It’s only March and with City still in three competitions, Haaland could easily surpass 60 by the end of the campaign.
His second goal against RB Leipzig – a close-range header that sent Janis Blaswich an error – made him the youngest player to score 30 Champions League goals at 22 years and 236 days, ahead of Kylian Mbappe (22 years, 352 days). ) and Lionel Messi (23 years, 131 days).
Pep Guardiola said earlier this week that games against Crystal Palace, RB Leipzig and Burnley would decide their season. Two games later, Haaland made the decisive contribution in both games. He was signed by City to decide crucial games at the end of the season and he does. Burnley should be worried ahead of his visit here in the FA Cup on Saturday.
2. The VAR review allows for the opening of floodgates
RB Leipzig arrived in Manchester believing they could cause a shock after a 1-1 first-leg draw in Germany, but they never had the chance to make City a nervous night. The fans in the stadium didn’t know what was going on when Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic started trudging to the pitchside monitor to watch a possible penalty that nobody else had noticed.
Also after review it seemed very harsh to judge Benjamin Henrichs had handled Rodri’s header. Haaland didn’t care and scored his 35th goal of the season from the penalty spot and while the remnants of RB Leipzig’s protests were still directed at Vincic, the Norwegian scored his second of the evening.
Within two minutes in the middle of the first half, RB Leipzig’s game plan was shredded and, with a 1-3 aggregate deficit, they faced an almost impossible task. When Haaland sealed his hat-trick in first-half injury time, the game was over and the second half was little more than a training session for Guardiola and his players.
City were clear favorites going into the game and RB Leipzig would probably have lost anyway, especially with Haaland in this form, but coach Marco Rose rightly feels his side haven’t been helped by officials.
3. Aside from Bayern, the Bundesliga’s top teams are getting a tough lesson
RB Leipzig are out and joins Borussia Dortmund in being eliminated by a Premier League side after they were ousted by Chelsea. Bayern Munich, the best the Bundesliga has to offer, is still in the game after beating Paris Saint-Germain, but the rest of Germany is catching up with the big budgets in England.
RB Leipzig has not progressed past the last 16 since reaching the semifinals in 2020, while Dortmund have reached three quarterfinals since reaching the final in 2013. It might have been different for RB Leipzig if Christopher Nkunku had been available for more than just 24 minutes in the two games, but the French striker is a good example of why teams like Leipzig and Dortmund will struggle to regularly finish in the top eight teams in Europe to come.
Nkunku will join Chelsea in the summer, while Dortmund’s best player, Jude Bellingham, could follow Haaland to City if they fend off competition from Real Madrid and Liverpool. It’s hard to catch up when the ground is constantly being pulled out from under you.
Best and worst performers
PREFERABLY: : Erling Haaland, ST, Manchester City.
Scoring five goals in a Champions League knockout game is a daunting feat.
BEST: John Stones, DF, Manchester City.
Played at right back and in midfield and excelled in both positions.
BEST: Kevin De Bruyne, MF, Manchester City.
Criticized by Guardiola in the build-up to the game but scored an impressive seventh goal.
WORST: Janis Blaswich, GK, RB Leipzig.
He made a bad mistake as RB Leipzig conceded a quick second goal.
WORST: Timo Werner, FW, RB Leipzig.
The former Chelsea striker had a night to forget on his return to England.
WORST: Josko Gvardiol, DF, RB Leipzig.
Battling one of the world’s best forwards in Haaland, one of the best young defenders saw his side concede five goals in less than an hour.
Highlights and notable moments
Good situational awareness from Haaland, who scored his second goal (after the first with a controversial penalty) by finding himself in the right spot after Kevin Bruynes Belter bounced off the woodwork.
TWO GOALS WITHIN TWO MINUTES. ERLING HAALAND WITH HIS 30 #UCL GOAL. 🤖 pic.twitter.com/rg7EMukU9j
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 14, 2023
But De Bruyne got his on the night and saved it for the final seconds of the game with a beautiful curling shot.
Kevin De Bruyne saves the best for last, it’s the 7th 💫 pic.twitter.com/Q1Lz71tljt
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 14, 2023
After the game: What the coaches and players said
Erling Haaland on his five-goal evening: “My super strength is scoring goals. Should I be honest? A lot of goals today, I didn’t think so. I was just trying to get it to the back of the net… A lot of it is thinking fast at the net and trying to put it where the goalie isn’t.”
Haaland on his early move to BT Sport: “I told Pep when I left the pitch that I’d like to score a double hat-trick, but what can I do!”
Key Statistics (provided by ESPN Stats & Information Research)
– Pep Guardiola was Haaland and Messi’s coach in their five-goal Champions League performances. Messi appeared in a round of 16 match against Bayer Leverkusen in 2011/12.
– Manchester City equals their own record for the biggest win against a German team in the Champions League (7-0 against Schalke in the 2018/19 round of 16).
– This is the seventh time a German team has conceded more than 6 goals in the Champions League. Pep Guardiola managed four of those games (one at Barcelona and three at Man City).
Manchester City: hosts Burnley in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-finals ahead of the FIFA international window. They return to action in a league game against Liverpool on April 1.
RB Leipzig: At VfL Bochum on Saturday in the Bundesliga before the break. Hosts Mainz 05 on April 1st.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-champions-league/story/4900814/champions-league-erling-haalands-5-goals-leads-manchester-city-past-rb-leipzig Erling Haaland’s 5 goals take Manchester City past RB Leipzig