Manchester City may have lost this game in the past. But not right now. Not with Erling Haaland in their team.
The Norwegian striker scored his first hat-trick for City on Saturday – since signing for £50million from Borussia Dortmund in the summer – as the champions came back from two goals down at home to beat Crystal Palace 4-2. That’s six goals for the 22-year-old in his four Premier League appearances. And it’s only just begun.
Haaland faced mockery online as he missed chances in the 3-1 loss to Liverpool in the Community Shield earlier this month, but fought back with two goals on his West Ham debut the following weekend.
There was further scrutiny as he only touched the ball eight times in City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, despite claiming an assist in that game.
And since then, more goals: one in the draw against Newcastle last weekend and three more in the 4-2 victory against Crystal Palace.
Haaland headed home to make it 2-2 – after Bernardo Silva retired one – following a pass from Phil Foden. “Great comeback today. Glad to help out,” the England international tweeted later.
Big comeback today 💪🏻 Happy to help @ErlingHaaland 🤝🏻😉 pic.twitter.com/EQmxmK4DjOAugust 27, 2022
Haaland was then in the right place to tap home at the far post after a series of short passes into the box to make it 3-2 and completed his hat trick with a clinical finish after hitting a ball from Ilkay Gundogan and used his strength to resist the challenge of a Crystal Palace defender.
The Norwegian becomes only the fourth player to score six goals in his first four Premier League appearances – after Diego Costa, Sergio Aguero and Mick Quinn. By the end of the season, expect many more records to be broken.
The second half was fun to watch! @ErlingHaaland your beauty! Serious serious man you 🤣🙌🏻💙 https://t.co/nvCLKSJKfWAugust 27, 2022
“Definitely for this type of game,” said Pep Guardiola when asked afterwards if that was the reason the striker was signed. “We haven’t done anything special for him that he hasn’t done before. It’s important for him to score goals. He has a sense of scoring goals.”
Haaland himself is a man of few words. “A very good feeling. A proud moment for me and my family,” he said in his post-match interview. “We keep going. These games are why I’m here – to turn things around when there are tough times.”
No need for words.. 😍 #mancity pic.twitter.com/Tep2FYePmAAugust 27, 2022
Later, he tweeted, “No words needed.” He is right too, because his goals will speak this season.
With six of them already, he will be the heavy favorite to win the Premier League Golden Boot.
And after recently telling FourFourTwo he’s here to improve and become the best, his early form is really quite worrying for his opponents at home and in Europe this term – and a glimpse of an incredibly exciting future for Man City.