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Haaland scores five to propel Man City into Champions League quarter-finals

MANCHESTER (BRITAIN) – Erling Haaland equaled a Champions League record with five goals and led Manchester City to the quarter-finals at the expense of RB Leipzig as the English champions secured an 8-1 aggregate victory 7-0 on Tuesday.

Haaland also set a new club record for goals in a season of 39 as Pep Guardiola’s men reached the last eight for the sixth straight season.

“My super strength is scoring goals,” said Haaland. “A lot of that is being quick in the mind and trying to put it where the goalkeeper isn’t.”

City have yet to go all the way in the Champions League but they’ve never had a striker of Haaland’s quality to make the difference in the latter stages.

Aged just 22, he has now scored 33 goals in 25 games in Europe’s premier club competition.

“First of all, I’m proud to play in this competition, I love it,” Haaland added. “Five goals! Winning 7-0 is unbelievable.”

The weather was more akin to Haaland’s home on a snowy night in Manchester but City didn’t freeze under the pressure and kept their Champions League dreams alive.

The tie was finely balanced after a 1-1 draw in East Germany three weeks ago, but an injury-strewn Leipzig side never looked like a match for their top-flight opponents.

Guardiola had kept Kevin De Bruyne on reserve for Abu Dhabi-backed City’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in the Premier League at the weekend and the Belgian was back at his best on his return to the starting XI.

Ilkay Gundogan should have opened the scoring after just three minutes from a welcoming De Bruyne cross.

Haaland’s searing pace then created a chance out of nowhere from Nathan Ake’s long ball, but Janis Blaswich sped away from his goal to block.

However, Leipzig had reason to complain about two controversial phone calls that had a massive impact on the game before half-time.

For one, the VAR spotted a handball against Benjamin Henrichs that resulted in a penalty that neither the City players nor the crowd even noticed.

– Record chance denied –

Haaland fired deep to the left of Blaswich to maintain his perfect record from the point for City with his sixth penalty of the season.

It was 2-0 two minutes later when Haaland set the ball on for De Bruyne, who slammed a shot over the bar, then used his speed and strength to head in and head off the rebound.

Leipzig could have had a way back into the tie when Ederson sprinted from his goal to obliterate Konrad Laimer.

But instead of sending off the Brazilian goalkeeper, the Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic didn’t even award a free-kick.

Any doubts about the outcome were ended with the closing action of the first half.

Ruben Dias rose highest and headed Jack Grealish’s corner against the post and Amadou Haidara’s attempted clearance was rebounded by Haaland into the net.

Gundogan’s stylish finish into the far corner four minutes into the second half rubbed more salt in Leipzig’s wounds before Haaland began to rewrite the record books.

First, he hammered home on the second try after Blaswich saved his first header to equal Tommy Johnson’s record 38 goals for City in the 1928–29 season.

Haaland set a new mark with three months to go before the end of the season when he grabbed another rebound after saving Blaswich from Manuel Akanji.

In doing so, he equaled the record of Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano, who scored five goals in one Champions League game.

But Guardiola denied his star striker a chance for another record when he replaced him with Julian Alvarez with 25 minutes remaining.

“I told him I would like to score a double hat-trick, but what should I do,” Haaland said.

Instead, De Bruyne had the last word as he curled an excellent shot into the top corner in added time.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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