More Than Ronaldo & Matching Salah

Haaland has now scored 18 league goals this season at the Etihad – the most by a City player in home games in a single season

Erling Haaland has more Premier League hat-tricks than Cristiano Ronaldo. He has the same number as Mohamed Salah. He is a third of the way towards Sergio Aguero’s record tally of 12.

Haaland has been in England’s top flight for half a season. That’s 19 league games in total.

On Sunday, in Manchester City’s comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves, the Norwegian struck his fourth treble, completing it in just 12 minutes either side of half-time.

It took his tally of goals for the campaign to a stunning 31 in all competitions – 25 of them in the Premier League.

Some records have already been broken, others beckon. In the aftermath of his latest goalscoring feat, BBC Sport celebrates the phenomenon that is Erling Braut Haaland.

Treble top

As already stated, Haaland’s quartet of hat-tricks have come from just 19 Premier League games.

To show just how ludicrously quick that is, the next fastest person to reach the same number of Premier League trebles is Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored his fourth in his 65th Manchester United league game.

Here is how the City striker stacks up against the three others to make the list of fastest to four…

Aguero, who was Haaland’s predecessor up front for City, scored 12 Premier League hat-tricks during his time in England. No player has managed more. Of the players currently active in England, Tottenham’s Harry Kane has the most with eight.

But the Argentine, who is City’s all-time leading goalscorer with 184, played 275 Premier League games for the club.

Alan Shearer, who has netted more Premier League goals than anyone with 260, scored 11 trebles. He is the only man to have scored more than Haaland in a single season, with five – that being the 1995-96 campaign in which he scored 31 times.

For City, he is already eighth on their list of all-time hat-trick scorers in all competitions – a list led by Aguero with 16.

Player Hat-tricks Games
Sergio Aguero 16 390
Fred Tilson 10 275
Tommy Browell 8 247
Dennis Tueart 6 276
Eric Brook 6 493
Raheem Sterling 6 339
Billy McAdams 5 134
Carlos Tevez 5 148
Tommy Johnson 5 355

Golden Boot in the bag?

Haaland’s tally of goals in all competitions this seaon has already matched Shearer’s 1995-96 league total.

Shearer won the Golden Boot that year, with his 31 the joint-fourth highest number of goals ever scored in a Premier League season, three fewer than the 34 the striker netted for Blackburn in 1994-95 and Andy Cole scored for Newcastle the season before.

Haaland is on 25 already – a total would have been enough to earn him the Golden Boot in more than half of the 30 campaigns since the English top flight was renamed in 1992.

It is already enough goals to have made him the division’s top scorer in any of the past four seasons.

Kane, three times a Golden Boot winner, is the closest man to Haaland in the scoring charts for this season – 10 goals behind.

Haaland’s efforts on Sunday also toppled another City record, his 18 home league goals being the most scored by one of the club’s players at Etihad Stadium in a single season, beating Sergio Aguero’s total of 16 in 2011-12.

He needs one more goal to match Aguero’s record of 26 for the most scored by a City player in a Premier League season but still has a bit of work to beat the 38 netted by Tommy Johnson in the old First Division in 1928-29.

If he matches his output from the first half of the campaign in the second, that will give him a nice neat 50 for the campaign.

Outscoring nearly half the Premier League… and a lot of Europe

Haaland currently has more league goals on his own this season than nine of the teams in the Premier League. He is one away from matching Leeds’ tally of 26 to make it a clean half.

Chelsea, who have splashed out hundreds of millions on the forwards in their squad, have three fewer goals than Haaland, who cost City £51.2m when he joined from Borussia Dortmund last June.

The Norwegian has netted more than double the amount of goals managed by Sunday’s opponents Wolves, who have just 12 to their name.

If you want to broaden this out, he presently has more goals this season than 51 teams across Europe’s big five leagues – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, La Liga and Serie A.

Sixteen touches, three goals

So what of his latest feat?

It was once again an exercise in ruthless minimalism, his three goals coming from just 16 touches in the game.

After last weekend’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester United, City boss Pep Guardiola spoke of his need to find a way to get Haaland more involved in games for his club, but woe betide the rest of the division if he ups his goals-per-touch tally alongside his contact with the ball.

Sunday’s first goal was a header from a familiar source, with Kevin de Bruyne providing his fifth assist for the forward – the most by one player for another in the competition this season.

He then drove home a penalty after Ilkay Gundogan had been fouled by Wolves captain Ruben Neves, before sweeping home his third after visiting goalkeeper Jose Sa’s pass out of his six-yard box went straight to Riyad Mahrez.

Speaking as summariser on BBC Radio 5 Live, former England defender Stephen Warnock was understandably effusive.

“That movement, that power, the clinical nature, the anticipation of where the ball will fall to him, that is so difficult to defend against,” he said. “You can get so attached to a player that it frees up space for others. When you put your attention back on the ball, you’ve lost him.

“He’s so good at not being felt; you try to feel him and understand where he is. Look at the first goal, the movement is just brilliant.

“He’s going to get better and better and that’s a scary thing for world football.”

City boss Guardiola is getting used to talking about his striker, but had this to say after Sunday’s win: “The numbers are incredible. He lives 24 hours for his profession, job, passion, love.

“He’s not stressed much when it’s going well or going bad. He is stable. He feels the defeats. It’s really good.”




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