There isn’t much else you can say about Erling Haaland that adequately expresses the Norwegian’s finishing ability. It remains to count the goals and add the numbers. This Tuesday, there were five, a handful of goals from the Manchester City striker in the thrashing imposed on RB Leipzig (7-0), which guaranteed the passage of the English to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The first leg of the tie had ended in a draw (1-1) and it was unlikely that the second leg would give rise to a difference of level of this magnitude. But City took on the skin of an attacking machine and had the most sophisticated weapon aimed at goal in modern football. There were five for Haaland and we’ll never know if there would have been more, because Pep Guardiola decided to replace him in the 63rd minute.
Until then, the Norwegian international scored at 22′, from a penalty, at 24′, after an assist from De Bruyne, and at 45+2′, leaving the score at 3-0 at half-time, which practically sentenced the tie. But Haaland is not satisfied with “little” and scored again in the 54th and 57th minutes, following a corner, scoring five goals on his own.
He left smiling shortly after game time, to make way for Julian Alvarez (a world champion) and probably with the feeling that he could have gone even further. What he did during this period was already unusual, however, and only two footballers before him had scored five goals in a single Champions League game: Lionel Messi, for Barcelona, in 2012, and Luiz Adriano, for Shakhtar, in 2014.
In the middle of Haaland’s recital, Ilkay Gundogan also successfully targeted the goal of RB Leipzig, and after the “concert” it was De Bruyne who scored a great goal, but the Norwegian giant stole all the attention. There are now 39 goals scored in 36 games this season. Not bad for a debut season at City.