Erling Haaland continued his assault on the record books when Manchester City beat Leeds United 3-1 at Elland Road on Wednesday to move into second place in the Premier League.
Rodri’s late first-half goal and Haaland’s brace in the second half – his 19th and 20th goal making it the first goal in league history to reach that milestone before January – helped lift Pep Guardiola’s side to 35 points from 15 games this season. Season five behind leaders Arsenal.
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Man City were the better team by far in the first half but didn’t have much to show for it, Leeds goalkeeper Ilan Meslier smashed Haaland on the doorstep at the 30-minute mark and Jack Grealish punched in several chances before Rodri pulled back late on. Giving visitors the lead when taking a break.
Haaland, who was born in Leeds while his father played for the club, doubled City’s advantage early in the second half with an effortless finishing touch after Grealish collected the ball in midfield, raced into the penalty area and squared it for a team-mate. in an empty grid.
The duo linked up again with City’s third, working a brilliant one-two in front of a Leeds goal with Haaland putting in a perfect first-time finish on a pass from Grealish for his 26th goal in all competitions this season.
“I own [goal] “The goal, but I can’t say that,” Haaland said after the match. I just said inside the dressing room that I could have scored five goals, but the most important thing is that we won.
“We have to catch Arsenal. I could have scored two more goals, but that’s life and I have to train more.”
Jesse March’s side pulled one back through Pascal Stroek in the 73rd minute, but the game was out of reach for the hosts, who finished the day in 15th place with 15 points.
“The thing we know about our team is that we never quit,” Marsh said after the game. So the timing of the goals was painful, right? If we can get to the half, maybe we can make some adjustments and find a way to advance the game.
“I thought in many moments – it’s Man City, for me in many ways the best team in the world with one of the best coaches in the world, so you can’t contain them all, but I thought we did a good job.”
Next up for Man City is a home game against Everton on New Year’s Eve, while Leeds travel to St James’ Park the same day for a match with third-placed Newcastle United.
City lost their last league match before the end of the World Cup against Brentford but dominated the game in West Yorkshire from off the field. Haaland wasted no time on the first attempt at goal, seeing his effort lift the ball into the net well after just 36 seconds.
Leeds conceded 11 goals for City last season and stayed put as Haaland was given another golden opportunity to break the deadlock, but once again could not beat Meslier.
Chances kept coming and going for City, but finally, with just his 16th shot of the first half, Rodri was on hand to knock home the first goal.
Alfie Haaland made 181 appearances in the Premier League to score 18 goals in the competition, but it took his son only 14 to top him, turning home Grealish’s assist six minutes into the second half to double City’s lead.
Haaland then broke the record for the number of games needed to reach the 20 mark by deflecting another Grealish pass to make it three, as he needed seven fewer games to reach that number than the next fastest, Kevin Phillips.