Striker Erling Haaland has admitted he was nervous as he stepped up to score Manchester City’s match-wining penalty against Fulham. The Norwegian striker has a 100% record from the spot for the blues and kept his cool to score his 23rd goal of the season.
“I was nervous,” Haaland said after the match. “It was one of the most nervous moments of my life. A penalty in the last minute? Of course I would be nervous,” he added as he spoke to BBC Sport. “But it was about getting through the situation in the proper way and I did that. It was a fantastic feeling to score.
The striker, who has been a phenomenon so far this season, started on the substitutes bench after recovering from a fever and foot injury, but said he enjoyed being back. “I love it. I have been injured for a week and it was really important for us to win.”
Haaland had a 74th-minute goal disallowed for offside but wasn’t going to be denied another goal of an amazing debut season. Unlike his previous penalties where he went for power, Haaland went to place the ball into the bottom corner. It wasn’t the greatest of penalties and keeper got a touch, but it managed to squeeze home to give the blues the points.
“I don’t care how it went in, it is about it going in. It was an amazing feeling,” said the striker. “For me, it was about coming in with some energy and try and get a goal because these three points are really important. It was about trying to get it and that is what we did.”
City now sit at the top of the Premier League and will remain there if Arsenal fail to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The blues final game before the World Cup is a home match against Brentford, while Chelsea visit in midweek in the League Cup.
For Haaland, the tournament in Qatar will give him an opportunity to recuperate for a month while other Premier League defenders are battling in the Qatari heat. He should be well refreshed for the trip to Leeds two days after Boxing Day