Haaland scores FIVE to send City through

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League tie against RB Leipzig – though the German side would be without Christopher Nkunku for this second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

MCI: Ederson; Ake, Dias, Akanji; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Gundogan, De Bruyne, B. Silva; Haaland

RBL: Blaswich; Raum, Gvardiol, Orban, Henrichs; Kampl, Haidara; Szoboszlai, Forsberg, Laimer; Werner

A huge chance went begging for the hosts early on, as De Bruyne’s cross found Ilkay Gundogan at the back post – but the German’s volley was sent over the bar to deny City an early lead. Pep Guardiola’s side continued to threaten the Leipzig defence, forcing a save from Janis Blaswich after Erling Haaland worked his way past Willi Orban.

City were awarded a penalty with just over twenty minutes plated, after Benjamin Henrichs was found to have used his arm to deny Ruben Dias a headed effort on goal – and Erling Haaland made no mistake from six yards out, firing past Blaswich with power and precision.

The Norwegian doubled his tally just 78 seconds later, heading home the rebound after De Bruyne’s strike from distance ricocheted off the crossbar. Haaland should have made it three soon after as he fired a shot away from the left flank, but Blaswich was able to push it away at the near post.

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City’s star striker did get his hat trick before half-time though, sending the ball over the line after a scramble in the box. Dias’ headed effort didn’t fully cross the line until Haaland powered it into the back netting, and the Norwegian was credited with the strike.

Manchester City’s fourth came just minutes after the break, as Ilkay Gundogan fired home to cap off a classic City attack. The German’s left-footed strike from the edge of the box found the bottom-right corner, sending the hosts 5-1 ahead on aggregate.

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Haaland bagged his fourth just four minutes later, after his initial header was blocked well by Blaswich. Akanji couldn’t get the rebound over the line, but the Norwegian recovered well to smash a volley into the back netting to turn the Etihad into dreamland.

His fifth came less than five minutes later, in a similar fashion to his fourth. Akanji sent a header goalwards, but Janis Blaswich was able to parry it away – though only as far as Haaland, who sent a thunderous strike past the ‘keeper. In doing so, he became just the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League match (Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano are the others).

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Arguably the loudest moment of the night followed Haaland’s substitution, as the thousands of fans within the Etihad rose to their feet to salute their Norwegian striker’s contribution to such a dominating scoreline. The City fans would still have another goal to celebrate though, as Kevin De Bruyne netted a curling effort in the dying minutes to further add to Leipzig’s embarrassment.

Haaland’s sheer brilliance was on full display before he was replaced by Julian Alvarez in the 62nd minute, and his five goals helped City to a 7-0 win on the night – 8-1 on aggregate. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City progress to the quarterfinals.

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