It’s blindingly obvious to anyone with half an interest in the beautiful game that Erling Haaland is a special talent indeed, but his first-half numbers for Man City against RB Leipzig deserve further investigation.
The Norwegian was on fire in Tuesday night’s epic 7-0 Champions League victory, particularly in a first-half that was all about him.
The centre-forward was, perhaps, particularly fortuitous to be handed the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot, but he still buried the chance with aplomb.
Then it was a question of being in the right place at the right time, twice. Surely the sign of all elite-level strikers.
Firstly, a piledriver from Kevin De Bruyne cannoned back off the crossbar and Haaland made no mistake with a towering header.
Then, a header from Ruben Dias hit the inside of a post before agonisingly rolling along the line. Who was there to gobble up the chance? You know who.
What’s astonishing is the sheer economy of his work. Haaland barely lets a chance slip through his fingers (or should that be feet).
As the following graphic shows, he scored three in the opening 45 minutes from just five shots – all on target – and only 23 total touches.
Erling Haaland’s first-half vs RB Leipzig by numbers:
8 passes complete
5 shots on target
1 left foot goal
1 right foot goal
1 headed goal
Perfect Hat-trick Haaland. ?#UCL pic.twitter.com/R5trOAakTg
— Squawka (@Squawka) March 14, 2023
When one considers his tender age, Premier League and European football should really be scared at just how far this player can go.
At present, and with injuries notwithstanding, the football world truly is his oyster.
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