Erling Haaland has made an instant impact at the Etihad Stadium, scoring an incredible 12 goals in seven matches and a record 10 in just six EPL starts.
Haaland’s latest salvo came against Sevilla in the UCL this week, when the Norwegian struck twice in a comfortable 4-0 win for the Citizens.
But how is Haaland making the difference at City, and can the prolific hitman fire the Blues to a long-awaited Champions League win?
Haaland’s Fire Power and UCL Record
Since making his debut for Red Bull Salzburg in 2018, Haaland has maintained an incredible scoring run, plundering 127 goals in 123 matches for the Austrian club, Borussia Dortmund and now City.
However, it’s the Norwegian’s Champions League record that’s most outstanding, with Haaland having become the fastest ever to score 25 goals in the competition.
In total, he has scored an incredible 25 goals in 20 matches, beating the record of Manchester United’s former striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy (who scored his 25th UCL goal in his 30th match).
To provide some context, Manchester United legend Cristiano Ronaldo has scored no Champions League goals at all at this stage in his career, but he has since gone on to become the tournament’s record all-time goalscorer.
This is music to the ears of City fans and the club’s hierarchy, as the side goes in search of its maiden Champions League after some agonising failures in recent years.
Can Haaland Fire City to the UCL Crown?
City are the favourites to win the Champions League amongst most crypto betting sites, with the addition of Haaland undoubtedly helping this status.
After all, City’s dramatic semi-final defeat to Real Madrid last season saw the English side miss a huge number of chances, and it’s hard to imagine them being eliminated if Haaland has played any part in the tie.
The same can be said for the previous season’s final defeat to Chelsea, when Pep Guardiola played without a recognised striker and created a significant gap where a play with the predatory instincts of Haaland would have thrived.
It’s also interesting to note how quickly Haaland has settled into life at the Etihad Stadium. After a disappointing Community Shield when many of Haaland’s runs went unrewarded, his teammates have now adapted to his movement and begun to deliver stunning service to the Norwegian.
At the same time, the shape, energy and compact nature of the City side is enabling Haaland to occupy the central defenders and play between the width of the goal posts. This is optimising his efficiency in front of goal, with his two goals against Seviila coming from just 19 touches throughout the match.
This is part of a growing trend for Haaland, who’s being encouraged to play to his strength and provided the type of goal threat that can settle tight UCL games and ties.