Manchester City booked their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League courtesy of a thrilling victory over RB Leipzig on Tuesday night, and a historic performance from Erling Haaland.
A sensational hat-trick from the Norwegian international put the tie beyond any doubt before the half-time whistle, with Erling Haaland breaking two Champions League records in the process.
VAR handed City the golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 22 minutes, after Benjamin Henrichs was adjudged to have handled the ball during a corner for the hosts and was subsequently booked for his troubles.
From the spot, up stepped the cool, calm, and collected Erling Haaland, dispatching comfortably into the bottom right corner to give Manchester City the decisive lead on the night and in the tie.
That strike meant Erling Haaland became the fastest player in the competition’s history to reach 30 goals, doing so in just 25 appearances in his very young career so far.
He wasn’t finished there, and jut 19 in-game seconds later, Haaland doubled Manchester City’s lead, heading home from close range after a long-range effort from Kevin De Bruyne crashed down off the crossbar and into the path of the awaiting 22 year-old.
The game then fell into somewhat of a lull, but Manchester City continued to search for another strike, and in second minute of additional time, it was that man again who found the net for the third time in 46 minutes.
A brilliant corner from Jack Grealish met the awaiting head of an unmarked Ruben Dias, who struck the post and fell into the path of Erling Haaland again to bundle home.
In the second-half, Manchester City picked up right where they had left off, as Ilkay Gundogan angled home a left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner to put the tie beyond any doubt – in case Erling Haaland hadn’t already done so.
Then, Erling Haaland did it again. And then he did it AGAIN. That’s all you can really say for a striker that left every single onlooker speechless in the presence of the greatest centre-forward currently playing football in the world.
On a truly historic night, Erling Haaland scored five goals in his 63 minutes on the pitch.
Pep Guardiola made use of Manchester City’s six-goal lead by making a whole host of substitutions, handing valuable Champions League minutes from the substitutes bench to all of Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Gomez, Kalvin Phillips, and Julian Alvarez.
Just when you thought you’d seen everything, you really hadn’t as Kevin De Bruyne put the cherry on the icing on top of the cake, with a long-range curled effort into the top-right corner of the RB Leipzig net.
And that was that for the evening, on a night when a total demolition of the Bundesliga side – orchestrated by a one of a kind footballer – sent Manchester City into the deeper stages of the Champions League, with a 8-1 aggregate scoreline wrapping up the contest.
Attentions will swiftly turn to another cup competition this weekend at Manchester City, as they host Vincent Kompany’s Burnley at the Etihad Stadium in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup at the quarter-final stage.
Before then however, City will also find out their opponents in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, as well as their potential opponents at the semi-final stage in a bumper draw later this week.
For full details on the UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw, TAP HERE.
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