The Nordic Meat Shield that is Erling Haaland continues to break records after his hat-trick against Wolves during City’s 3-0 win on Sunday afternoon. Haaland hit a treble against the Black Country side, his fourth of the season as City moved within two points of leaders Arsenal, who face the Stretford Rangers on Sunday evening.
With his latest three, Haaland becomes the fastest player to hit four hat-tricks since Ruud van Nistelrooy. The former United man managed to score four hat-tricks in 65 matches for the reds, a record that Haaland has now blown away in just 19 matches.
But, as well as taking that from the Dutchman, Haaland has also broken Sergio Aguero’s record of 16 Premier League goals at the Etihad Stadium. City’s Argentine legend hit the Etihad record in his debut season of 2011/12, famously hitting his 16th on 93:20...sorry in the final match of the season as City beat QPR 3-2.
What took Aguero 38 matches to do has been achieved in just 19 by Haaland, who now looks to have regained his pre-World Cup form.
Prior to the tournament in Qatar, Haaland was scoring for fun, but since the return of Premier League football, the Norwegian had scored just five goals before facing Wolves. This apparent drop in form led some to ponder whether Haaland is actually the problem with this City side, who are adapting to his style of play.
This is based on the fact he failed to score in his 34 minutes as substitute at Southampton and was virtually anonymous in the recent Manchester derby. United fans were happy with that statistic, conveniently forgetting he hit a treble against them in November!
But, with half the season gone and 57 points left to play for, Haaland has rediscovered his magic touch and the next team to try their luck in containing them are Arsenal.
The blues face the Gunners on Friday in the FA Cup fourth round, a match which some commentators and ‘pundits’ will no doubt see as an indication as to where the title will go. For those of us with common sense, we’ll see it solely as an FA Cup clash between the two best teams in the league at the moment. Where the title will go will depend on league performance - not what happens in an FA Cup tie.