Erling Haaland reveals what he told Pep Guardiola after being denied DOUBLE hat-trick in Man City demolition
Erling Haaland jokingly rued being denied a potential double hat-trick after his incredible scoring exploits fired Manchester City into the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Norwegian goal machine became only the third player ever to notch five times in a single fixture in Europe’s elite club competition on Tuesday night as RB Leipzig were thrashed 7-0 in the last-16 second leg and 8-1 on aggregate.
It was a brutally clinical performance from Haaland, who now has 39 goals to his name in just 36 City appearances across all competitions since joining from Borussia Dortmund in a £51million transfer last summer - setting a new club record for the most strikes in a single season, with Tommy Johnson’s previous mark of 38 having stood since way back in 1929.
The 22-year-old now has five City hat-tricks and a remarkable 17 trebles for his young career, beating Kylian Mbappe as the youngest player ever to reach 30 Champions League goals.
Before Tuesday, only the iconic Lionel Messi had ever scored five times in a single Champions League knockout fixture - for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in a last-16 game back in 2012.
The night could have got better still for Haaland, but he was substituted by manager Pep Guardiola after 63 minutes to a deserved standing ovation with one eye firmly fixed on Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Vincent Kompany’s Burnley and a busy Premier League title battle with Arsenal.
The list of players to have scored a double hat-trick in football is short, though Haaland did not seem too disappointed to have been denied the opportunity to write yet more City history.
“I told him [Guardiola] when I went off, ‘I would love to score a double hat-trick’. But what can I do? I had to go off,” he told BT Sport with a smile.
“It’s a big night,” he said. “Firstly, I’m proud to play in this competition, I love it. Five goals! To win 7-0 is amazing.”
Asked which of the five was his favourite goal, an honest Haaland replied: “I’m blurry in my head. I remember shooting but not thinking. I was so tired after my celebrations.
“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. A lot of it is being quick in the mind and trying to put it where the goalkeeper is not.
“We worked on the pressing yesterday, especially at home we have to run and press. We are so good at getting the ball. In my opinion, we should do this more.
“I think we can use this more [pressing], there is more space for the guys in between to play. Compared to last year and now we can play with a striker in behind and that’s what I’m trying to bring.”