» Sports » PIX: Five-star Haaland powers Manchester City into quarters

PIX: Five-star Haaland powers Manchester City into quarters

March 15, 2023 08:57 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IMAGE: Erling Haaland celebrates scoring Manchester City's fifth goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match against RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, on Tuesday. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Erling Haaland became the third player in Champions League history to score five goals in a game as he led Manchester City to an unrelenting 7-0 rout of RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.


The victory, which equalled City's biggest European win, sent Pep Guardiola's side into the quarter-finals 8-1 on aggregate, with Ilkay Gundogen and Kevin De Bruyne also on target for City in a devastating display at the Etihad Stadium.

It was a record-breaking night for the 22-year-old Haaland, who became Manchester City's top goalscorer in a season as he took his tally for the campaign to 39 goals, vaulting him past Tommy Johnson's mark from 1928-29.

IMAGE: Erling Haaland is the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals as he moved on to 33, hitting that mark in 25 games, the fewest ever. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

He also became the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals as he moved on to 33, hitting that mark in 25 games, the fewest ever.

"It's a big night. Firstly, I'm proud to play in this competition, I love it. Five goals. To win 7-0 is amazing," he said.

"My super strength is scoring goals. Should I be honest? A lot of goals today, I didn't think. I was just trying to get it into the back of the net," he added. "A lot of it is being quick in the mind and trying to put it where the goalkeeper is not."

Haaland hinted he was in for a big night with a quick-fire brace, slotting home a penalty in the 22nd minute after Benjamin Henrichs was adjudged to have handled in the box following a VAR review, with the Norwegian celebrating with a knee slide and salute.

IMAGE: Erling Haaland scores Manchester City's fifth goal against RB Leipzig. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

He found the net again 19 seconds after the kickoff.

Haaland pressured Leipzig's keeper into a poor clearance that fell to De Bruyne. The Belgian's shot came back off the crossbar and bounced up for Haaland to head home.

His fifth hat-trick in all competitions this season arrived in first-half stoppage time when Ruben Dias's header bobbled along the line and Haaland rushed in to force it into the net.

"Fabulous," Guardiola said on Haaland's night. "He has a huge competitor mentality, he's there and yeah, scored five goals which is not easy."

Gundogen made it 4-0 in the 49th, driving a low finish into the bottom corner from the edge of the area, before Haaland capped his history-making night with two more from close range in the 53rd and 57th minutes.

Guardiola substituted the Norwegian in the 62nd minute, perhaps sparing Leipzig further humiliation, but denying Haaland the opportunity to score a record-breaking sixth in a single Champions League game.

"I told him (Guardiola) I would love to score a double hat-trick but what can I do?," Haaland said.

IMAGE: Erling Haaland celebrates with the match ball. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

De Bruyne curled in a stunning seventh goal for good measure seconds before the final whistle.

Manchester City have never hoisted the Champions League trophy, coming closest in 2021 when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the final. They lost to Real Madrid in last season's semis.

Leipzig manager Marco Rose knew before kickoff Haaland would pose a massive challenge, and he was right.

"He had a great night. He was so hungry," Rose said. "He scored goals with the foot and head, won second balls, deep runs. It looked really simple."

Solid Inter reach Champions League quarters

IMAGE: Inter Milan's players celebrate after the goalless draw against FC Porto sealed their place in the quarter-finals. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Inter Milan reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in more than a decade after surviving a late barrage of pressure at Porto to escape with a 0-0 draw which took them through 1-0 on aggregate on Tuesday.

It was a disappointing night for the home fans at a sold-out Dragao stadium as the Portuguese champions tried in vain to wipe out the narrow deficit from the first leg in Italy.

A disciplined Inter side seemed content to hold onto their lead and did not face a serious threat until added time.

Then Ivan Marcano's effort was blocked on the goal-line by Denzel Dumfries and headers from Mehdi Taremi and Marko Grujic hit the post and bar respectively as Porto finally came alive.

Defender Pepe was then sent off for a second yellow card and Inter joined city rivals AC Milan in the quarter-final draw, the first time they have reached the last eight since 2006.

IMAGE: Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez is challenged by Marko Grujic of FC Porto. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

With Napoli playing on Wednesday in their second leg at home against Eintracht Frankfurt with a 2-0 advantage earned in Germany, Italy could also have three teams in the Champions League quarters for the first time since 2006.

"We played an excellent game, the group stayed compact and played a great match. Excellent first half. In the last part of the match we all suffered together - honour to this group", Inter coach Simone Inzaghi told Mediaset.

"In football, luck matters relatively. In the two-legged match we deserved to advance. Now we will play the quarter-finals with a lot of confidence."

After earning a hard-fought win in the first leg against a Porto side who went to Italy with an ultra-defensive gameplan, Inzaghi's side took a careful approach that paid off as his players preserved the lead with a steadfast display.

They waited for their hosts to show their hand but Porto never really hit their stride until it was too late.

Not until late on, when coach Sergio Conceicao brought on Toni Martinez and Danny Namaso to make it three up front, did Porto throw everything at Inter in a move that almost worked in stoppage time when they were thwarted by the woodwork.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
© Copyright 2023 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IPL 2023

IPL 2023