Daily Mail

Haaland scores FIVE to send city through!

- JACK GAUGHAN at the Etihad Stadium

ERLING HAALAND scored a sensationa­l five goals last night to guide Manchester City through to the quarter-finals of the Champions league as they smashed Red Bull leipzig 7-0.

Pep Guardiola’s team had the game and tie, which was 1-1 after the first leg, wrapped up by half-time with Haaland scoring three. Ilkay Gundogan drove in the fourth but he was merely an interlude in the Haaland show as the Norwegian knocked in his fourth and fifth after scrambles in the box. Haaland now has 39 for the season.

Kevin de Bruyne capped a fine display late on with a beautiful curling shot from outside the area.

RB LEIPZIG, the third-best team in germany, arrived here with confidence and hope. They left having been taken apart and humiliated by arguably europe’s best team and almost certainly its most destructiv­e centre forward.

Manchester City are an artful football team with a cannonball playing up front. And when erling Haaland fires, few are left standing. Here the young Norwegian did so five times for the first time in his career. He now has five City hat-tricks and 39 (yes thirty-nine) goals and it is only mid-March of his first season.

pep guardiola actually took him off here with about half an hour left to play. He had just scored twice in the space of three minutes having done exactly the same in the first half. Had he been left on the field, it feels almost inevitable that he would have scored more. As he walked off, Leipzig’s humbled, shattered players must have felt like joining in the applause, theirs motivated only by relief and thanks.

So guardiola and his City team are into the last eight of the only competitio­n they have not won during the Spaniard’s years at the club. Once again, they feel like favourites. Once again, it feels as though only they can get in their own way.

guardiola had prefaced this game by talking yet again about the perennial problem. He also challenged his midfield creator Kevin De Bruyne to play better, to play more simply.

it seemed a strange thing to say but De Bruyne responded. The Belgian was excellent and scored a lovely curling goal in the 92nd minute. But he was ultimately overshadow­ed by Haaland’s remarkable prowess and hunger for goals, just like everybody else.

Haaland’s first goal was from a strangely awarded penalty, his second a rebound from a De Bruyne rocket that crashed against the bar. His hat-trick goal came from half a yard and was the last kick of the first period.

ilkay gundogan scored one of his own just after the start of the second half and that was actually the game’s best team goal but not remotely its headline moment. Haaland kept all of those to himself and by the time he scored twice from close-range following corners in the 54th and 57th minutes, his father Alf- inge was approachin­g a state of delirium in an executive box at the etihad. We thought we had seen everything from Haaland this season but we were wrong. And there are still two-and-a-half months left.

City were superior without being overly threatenin­g early on. Haaland showed a familiar burst of pace to ease past two defenders on to Nathan Ake’s long pass in the 11th minute. goalkeeper Janis Blaswich was out quickly to block the striker’s toe poke.

A few minutes prior to that, meanwhile, De Bruyne had offered his first contributi­on of the night, his out-swinging cross struck over the bar by gundogan on the half-volley.

Leipzig were happy to press City high up the field whenever they could and for a short while, it looked as though they may have some success. But the germans had not created anything when City took the lead.

it was an odd decision, for sure. De Bruyne’s high and deep corner from the left was headed back across goal by Rodri. At first, the attention was caught by the fact that Manuel Akanji and then Haaland had not managed to turn the ball in. But the referee’s whistle signalled a VAR interventi­on and when he was asked to consult the pitchside monitor, the Slovenian official decided that the ball had come off Rodri’s head and brushed against the arm of Benjamin Henrichs on its way back across goal.

The fact the Leipzig player was actually facing away from the ball and with his arm only marginally extended in order to assist his jump didn’t seem to matter. A very peculiar penalty was awarded, Henrichs was booked and Haaland scored with a low kick taken with his left foot.

Leipzig were not impressed and no wonder. Within a minute or so, they were two down and the tie felt pretty much over.

This was a much more legitimate goal, Haaland doing well to hold up a clearance from deep and then follow up a De Bruyne drive that smacked against the crossbar to head in on the rebound. it was superb centre forward play by the Norwegian and by now City were on their way.

Referee Slavko Vincic continued to be influentia­l and that’s never a good sign. Just after the half-hour, City goalkeeper ederson advanced from his area and took out a Leipzig player. The Brazilian didn’t get the ball and should have been penalised. instead, the referee gave nothing and booked the former Chelsea player Timo Werner for complainin­g.

it was clearly not going to be Leipzig’s night. De Bruyne continued to poke at what was by now an open wound while Haaland and gundogan both worked Blaswich from tight angles.

The third goal arrived right on half-time. Ruben Dias headed another deep De Bruyne corner across the goal line but not in, and when Amadou Haidara tried to clear he could only drive the ball into the shins of the onrushing Haaland and into the goal.

Some teams ease off once in this kind of position. indeed, City have been known to and Leipzig may have wished for that. it didn’t happen, though. Within 12 minutes of the second half starting, City had scored six and Haaland had five of his own. Worse luck for the germans, he was still on the field as the clock ticked past the hour.

Leipzig, it must be said, were not helping themselves. Four of the six had come from corners and the marking had been pretty shoddy on all of them.

it was gundogan who scored the fourth goal in the 49th minute and on reflection, it was nice to have a change. it was a good goal, too, the ball worked up the right from ederson’s pass and then across to grealish, who supplied his teammate on the inside. gundogan jinked inside an opponent on the edge of the penalty area and drove a low shot into the far corner.

Leipzig were demoralise­d by now. Soon after, that morphed into humiliatio­n. Haaland’s next two goals came in minutes 54 and 57 and were both from corners that were not cleared. Bernardo Silva, who is not a tall man, was free to head the first delivery across goal and Haaland, who is, scored. Then, three minutes later, Akanji was involved once more and when his flick was saved, Haaland drove the rebound in.

With goals now arriving with what felt like every breath, Haaland looked keen to remain on the field. Who can blame him? When he was eventually removed by his manager in the 63rd minute, it was a surprise that the Leipzig players didn’t join in the cheering.

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 ?? REX/PA ?? Five star: Haaland gets on the end of Silva’s header, then fires in after Akanji’s effort was saved
REX/PA Five star: Haaland gets on the end of Silva’s header, then fires in after Akanji’s effort was saved
 ?? ?? Heading through: the striker doubles his tally after De Bruyne’s strike cannons off the bar
Heading through: the striker doubles his tally after De Bruyne’s strike cannons off the bar ACTION IMAGES
 ?? REUTERS ?? Poaching licence: Haaland turns in Haidara’s attempted clearance for his third
REUTERS Poaching licence: Haaland turns in Haidara’s attempted clearance for his third
 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Getting the ball rolling: Haaland gets his first with an emphatic penalty
GETTY IMAGES Getting the ball rolling: Haaland gets his first with an emphatic penalty
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