Haaland smashes Leipzig by scoring five goals
The Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, with five goals, settled Manchester City’s Champions League round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig (7-0), a second leg in which the ‘citizens’ star gave a lesson in effectiveness to smash a couple of ‘Champions League’ records and strengthen Pep Guardiola’s side’s candidacy.
Youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League
The attacker needed little more than 20 minutes of inspiration to settle an open tie after Germany’s 1-1 draw and become the youngest player (22 years and 236 days) in Champions League history to reach 30 goals, bettering Kylian Mbappé’s record (22 years and 352 days). After the restart, he satiated his hunger with two more pure ‘9’ goals, before leaving the pitch to a standing ovation from the Etihad Stadium. He needed just 63 minutes to become only the third player in the history of the top continental competition to score five goals in a single match, after Leo Messi – with FC Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 – and Luiz Adriano – with Shakhtar Donetsk against BATE Borisov in 2014.
Henrichs’ Controversial Hand
However, Haaland’s goal-fest was not to come until the 22nd minute, when Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic pointed to a controversial handball by Henrichs that allowed the Scandinavian attacker to open the scoring with a low right-footed shot, despite Blaswich guessing his intentions. With almost no time to digest it, Kevin de Bruyne’s left-footed shot crashed against the crossbar under the watchful eye of the Norwegian, who pounced on the rebound to score his second with the goalkeeper already beaten (min.24).
Blaswich could not do much
Even so, Blaswich did their best to prevent the ‘Citizens’ from scoring, first by denying Haaland’s own cross-shot and shortly after with a vital hand to Gündogan’s shot, but they could do nothing against the inspiration of the English star; from a corner, Rúben Dias headed at goal and, while the ball was passing along the goal line, Haaland was in charge of pushing it into the back of the net (min.45+2).
Ilkay Gündogan, at the restart, joined the Norwegian’s party by scoring the fourth with a cross-shot (min.49), but the great protagonist emerged again; in the 53rd minute, he headed in a corner kick to make it 5-0, and four minutes later he closed his scoring account by finishing off a rebound inside the box (min.57). It was his tenth goal in this Champions League.
Etihad stand on its feet
Haaland left the field in the 63rd minute, with the Etihad stands on their feet, and the game faded away without him, except for a goal by Belgian Kevin de Bruyne in stoppage time. However, the mission was accomplished and Pep Guardiola’s side were already in the quarter-finals of Europe’s top competition.