Men's Team

Haaland on De Bruyne, goals and a derby to remember

Erling Haaland says his on-field chemistry and understanding with Kevin De Bruyne already feels both ‘natural and insane’.

A third consecutive Premier League Etihad hat-trick in Sunday’s sensational 6-3 derby win over Manchester United merely cemented Haaland’s magnificent first few months at City.

His latest treble took his tally of overall goals for the season to 17 – and one of the overriding features of his incredible impact has been his eye-catching partnership with assist king De Bruyne.

The pair dovetailed to devastating effect again on Sunday with De Bruyne’s pinpoint pass and Haaland’s far post first-half finish arguably the goal of the game.

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And Haaland says the duo’s on-field telepathy already feels like second nature with the Norwegian also praising the role played by the rest of his team-mates in assisting his stunning start to life at City.

“Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s insane, the passes, we find each other,” Haaland asserted.

“I have only been at the club a couple of months, but the chemistry feels so natural. This may be the best part.

“It’s natural, that I go on the run, and he finds me. When this feels natural, there is nothing better.

“It is fantastic, it is really something special, but we cannot forget about the others.

“Kevin is one player, but I could stand there all day and talk about everybody else.

“It is not only him, but there are also so many others and other amazing passes.”

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Sunday’s derby saw Haaland rewrite the history books once again as he recorded an extraordinary third consecutive Etihad Premier League hat-trick.

Those three trebles in his first eight Premier League matches made the 22-year-old the quickest player to reach that total by a 40 appearances, shattering the previous best tally achieved by Michael Owen (48 appearances).

However, Haaland insisted that he wasn’t preoccupied by the prospect of individual records or goals.

Instead, he said a relaxed calm mind and attention to detail were the key factors in his approach to the game.

“Of course, a striker measures himself by goals but when I go into a game, I don’t think ‘now I want to score a goal’. No, I cannot do this,” the Norwegian said.

“I have to relax and make sure I do everything right. If we do everything right the chances will come, the finishing is good and it will go in the goal and that is exactly how I had to think.

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“I score one goal and celebrate, and I want to do it again. Three times? Nothing better.

“I felt it on Sunday before the game and I felt it on Saturday in the training.

"I felt a hungry club that wanted to attack this game which is exactly what we did. Yeah, it feels amazing, the atmosphere was insane.

“(And) It is not only me, but also all my teammates. Everybody I am playing with, they make it happen.

“Without them, I would never be able to do this so praise to them. It is fantastic to play here and I am looking forward to more.”

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