Dubai: There appears no stopping Erling Haaland. His five goals against RB Leipzig means he has become Manchester City’s highest goalscorer in a single season. Since joining the club last summer he has amassed 39 goals in 36 games. Last night he broke Tommy Johnson’s 94-year record for most goals for City in a single season. And it is only March.
He has a minimum of 14 more games to come as the club pursue glory in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League.
RB Leipzig’s exhausted players finally breathed a sigh of relief when the No. 9 was subbed off after the hour mark. His work was done, and he left the field with a smile on his face.
He had already scored four hat-tricks for City during the season, breaking records with his relentless attacking prowess. But five goals in one game, especially in a Champions League last-16 tie? This was something truly special.
His masterful display of power, speed, and accuracy sent a message across Europe and showed City’s potential to win the Champions League with the big Norwegian on board.
At 22 years and 236 days old he is the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the competition’s history. That puts him ahead of Kylian Mbappe, who previously held the record at 22 years and 352 days old, both of whom are far ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He smashed Ruud van Nistelrooy's existing record of 34 games by achieving the scoring feat in a ridiculous 25 matches. By comparison, Wayne Rooney managed 30 goals in 85 games, while Champions League icons Samuel Eto'o and Kaka took 55 matches to reach that tally.
City equalled their record win of 7-0 against Schalke in 2019, a match where Kevin De Bruyne scorrd a stunning stoppage-time goal. While De Bruyne played well last night, it was Haaland’s exceptional performance that truly shone. He is just the third player in the competition’s history to score five goals in a single match after Lionel Messi in 2012 and Luiz Adriano in 2014.
His unrelenting drive and desire to win, even in seemingly hopeless situations, sets him apart from others on the field. When all is said and done, it’s hard to imagine what his final numbers will look like.
Between them, Messi and Ronaldo have won 12 of the last 13 Ballon d’Or trophies but the devastating duo are into their late 30s and a new generation of stars are emerging.
And there is no doubt Haaland is at the forefront.
Kylian Mbappe: 131
Lionel Messi: 91
Cristiano Ronaldo: 47