Erling Haaland scores four as Man City take control of the title race once again

Erling Haaland Scores Four As Man City Take Control Of The Title Race Once Again
Haaland struck twice from the penalty spot in the first half, either side of a towering header, before adding a fourth with a stunning strike..
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By Andy Hampson, PA

Erling Haaland scored four goals – including a first-half hat-trick – as champions Manchester City crushed Wolves 5-1 to retain control of the Premier League title race.

Pep Guardiola’s side needed to respond to leaders Arsenal’s comfortable victory over Bournemouth earlier on Saturday and they did so emphatically, with a clinical take-down of their hapless visitors at the Etihad Stadium.


Haaland struck twice from the penalty spot in the first half, either side of a towering header, before adding a fourth with a stunning strike.

Substitute Julian Alvarez also got on the scoresheet, while Wolves’ consolation came from Hwang Hee-chan.

The victory lifted City, chasing an unprecedented fourth successive league crown, back within a point of the Gunners with a game in hand.


Haaland’s outstanding display took his tally for the campaign to 36 in all competitions and lifted him to 25 – five clear of his nearest challengers – in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot. His hat-trick was also his ninth in City colours.

For Wolves’ players there was little escape from the onslaught, although manager Gary O’Neil may have been relieved his touchline ban kept him hidden from view.

City’s determination was clear from the outset and it came as no surprise that they soon took the lead, although there was debate over their first penalty after 12 minutes.



Josko Gvardiol was shaping to shoot as Rayan Ait-Nouri attempted to clear and the pair collided. The decision could have gone either way but referee Craig Pawson awarded the spot-kick and Haaland confidently tucked away.

Aided by some poor Wolves defending, City could soon have had more as Kevin De Bruyne shot wide and Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa pushed away a Haaland header. Phil Foden dribbled through the area only to lose control at the vital moment.

The inevitable second came in the 35th minute as Rodri won possession, continued his run and exchanged passes with De Bruyne before lofting a cross to the back post where Haaland rose magnificently to head past Sa.

The Norwegian completed his treble in first-half stoppage time with a second penalty after he was brought down by Nelson Semedo.

This time Pawson was not convinced but pointed to the spot after reviewing the challenge on the pitchside monitor.

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Erling Haaland’s towering header made it 2-0 to Manchester City. Photo: Richard Sellers/PA.

Wolves, who offered little before the break, pulled one back against the run of play after 53 minutes.

City keeper Ederson, who overcame a shoulder injury to start, palmed a cross from Jean-Ricner Bellegarde into the path of Hwang and the Korean turned the ball into the net.

Yet any hopes Wolves – or even Arsenal – might have had of a fightback were dispelled immediately and resoundingly by Haaland.

The forward latched onto a long ball from Foden and cut inside to blast a ferocious shot into the far corner from just inside the area.

Haaland almost had a fifth moments later as he forced a fine save from Sa but, after also denying Mateo Kovavic, the keeper was beaten again by Alvarez five minutes from time.

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