Norwegian hitman Erling Haaland equaled Mo Salah’s record for the most goals in a 38-game Premier League campaign, as his brace earned reigning champions Manchester City a comfortable 3-0 win over visiting Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
The hosts were ruthless from the get-go and found the opener as early as the fifth minute, when defender John Stones scored a peach of a goal to give the Cityzens the lead.
Things went from bad to worse for the Foxes as they were penalized for handball in the box. Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi handled in the area and after the referee consulted with the VAR, a penalty was awarded to Manchester City. Erling Haaland stepped up and converted from the spot to register his 31st goal of the season.
The former Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund striker soon got his brace of the day, finishing off from an assist by Kevin De Bruyne. The strike saw Haaland equal Mo Salah’s record for the most goals in a 38-game campaign (32 goals) and he could hold the record outright as there are seven games left until the end of the season to do so.
Haaland was substituted at half-time by Argentina forward Julian Alvarez, understandably so as the Cityzens have an eye out on their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash against German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich, as they look to reach the semi-finals.
The visitors pulled one back through substitute and former Man City player Kelechi Iheanacho, who pounced home from close range after goalkeeper Ederson had spilled a header off a corner from James Maddison.
Pep Guardiola’s side have now cut the gap between themselves and leaders Arsenal to three points, ahead of their crucial title decider later in the month.
🔴 Live Blog:
FULL-TIME AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City (K. Iheanacho)
75′ MIN: Leicester pull one back, as a corner from James Maddison results in Kelechi Iheanacho having space to tap in from close range.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: Manchester City 3-0 Leicester City
HALF-TIME AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: Manchester City 3-0 Leicester City
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester City 3-0 Leicester City (E. Haaland)
25′ MIN: Erling Haaland scores another! He has Man City’s third, finishing well after being put through on goal by Kevin De Bruyne.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City (E. Haaland)
13′ MIN: Erling Haaland makes no mistake from the penalty-kick, registering his 31st Premier League goal of the season.
PENALTY!!! To Manchester City
After visiting the Referee Review Area, referee Darren England has awarded a penalty to Manchester City for a handball by Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi.
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester City 1-0 Leicester City (J. Stones)
5′ MIN: An early lead for the hosts, as John Stones hits home with his left foot from the edge of the box.
KICK-OFF AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: Manchester City 0-0 Leicester City
The league’s defending champions are looking to cut the gap between themselves and table-toppers Arsenal to three points, provided they get a win at home.
Pep Guardiola’s men come into this fixture off an amazing 3-0 victory over German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash at the Etihad in midweek. A positive outcome here will provide the confidence boost needed ahead of the second leg in Bavaria.
Leicester City on the other hand, are currently in the relegation zone in 19th position, and had to let go of former boss Brendan Rodgers following a run of poor results.
Replacing Rodgers in the dugout is former Aston Villa and Norwich City gaffer Dean Smith, and the Foxes will be hoping that their fight to remain in the top-flight begins on a positive note.