Match Report

Haaland hat-trick inspires City fightback

HAPPY HAALAND: Delighted with that!
Premier League
Premier League
Sat 27 Aug
Bernardo Silva 

Erling Haaland 
(62', 70', 81')

John Stones 
Joachim Andersen 
View highlights
Erling Haaland hit a second half hat-trick as Manchester City fought back from two goals down to extend our unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace.

The Norwegian striker scored three times in 19 minutes to claim his first treble in English football as the defending champions again came from behind to avoid defeat.

A John Stones own goal and Joachim Andersen’s towering header had put Palace in control at half-time, but Bernardo Silva reduced the deficit with his 50th goal for the Club before Haaland’s heroics turned the game on its head to send City temporarily top of the table before Arsenal's win over Fulham.

City got off to the worst possible start at the Etihad Stadium, falling behind in the fourth minute when Eberechi Eze’s free-kick deflected off Stones’ knee and beyond Ederson.

There was an element of misfortune about the opener, with Stones caught unawares as the cross flicked off both Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker before bouncing into his leg, but the same could not be said as Palace doubled their lead in emphatic fashion in the 21st minute.

Eze was again the architect, delivering an inviting cross from a corner, with Andersen rising highest to power a header into the bottom left corner.

Despite enjoying 75% possession in the first half, the hosts failed to register a shot on target, but that all changed in the second 45 minutes when Palace were forced to defend for long periods.

The fightback was instigated by the impressive Bernardo, who drove inside Tyrick Mitchell and beat Vicente Guaita with a low strike that deflected off Jeffrey Schlupp.

Haaland opened his account nine minutes later, nodding in the leveller from Phil Foden’s pinpoint delivery and the 22-year-old quickly doubled his tally when he tapped in at the far post to finish off a well-worked corner routine that put Guardiola’s side in front.

From there, there only looked like being one winner and Haaland made sure of the three points with the most impressive of his three goals, collecting Ilkay Gundogan’s precise through ball and holding off the attentions of Joel Ward before calmly slotting into the bottom left corner to complete a thrilling turnaround.

Haaland the hero

Trailing 2-0 at the break, City were in need of inspiration in the second half and it was duly provided by our new No.9.

Haaland, like many of his team-mates had been frustrated in the opening 45 minutes, when Palace’s well-drilled, deep-lying defence kept the hosts at bay.

He headed over from a corner and fired into the side netting after being forced wide by Guaita, but his presence is enough to worry defenders and his predatory instincts eventually punished Patrick Vieira’s side.

The Norwegian timed his run perfectly to beat Marc Guehi to Foden’s curling cross from the left, levelling with a deft header, whilst he popped up in the right place to complete a trademark Guardiola move that put City back in front.

With De Bruyne electing to go short from a corner, Bernardo, Julian Alvarez and Stones were all involved in an intricate passing move that evaded every Palace player before Haaland tapped in from two yards out.

But it was his third that evidenced his skillset in its broadest sense, with the youngster showcasing his pace, power and composure as he raced between the Palace centre-backs, shrugged of Ward and held his nerve to place the ball beyond Guaita.

Without Haaland, City may not have won today, but performances like this are exactly why he was signed to spearhead our attack.

pep guardiola's reaction

"I had a feeling that we are able in a short time period to put a lot of players and with the mentality we have, we are able to score goals in a few minutes.

"That is good but we have to control better the situations that are uncomfortable.

"Today we were lucky to come back. But what happened in the past normally today we lose the game and the PL doesn’t wait.

"The teams are so strong, so difficult and if you are behind points, you will not come back."

Man of the Match: Erling Haaland

Who else?

Bernardo followed up his impressive performance at Newcastle with another fine outing, but it was Haaland that stole the show against the Eagles. 

Our No.9 displayed everything you would want in a centre-forward and his penalty box know-how was the difference against a stubborn Palace defence.

A match winner in every sense of the word.

Stat zone

Only Sergio Aguero (6) has scored more goals in his first four Premier League appearances for City than Haaland (five).

What it means

Arsenal's 2-1 win against Fulham means City remain second in the Premier League table.

We have 10 points from our opening four games and sit two points behind the Gunners, who boast a perfect record.


CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo (Gundogan 61’), Rodrigo, Bernardo, De Bruyne (C) (Palmer 89'), Mahrez (Alvarez 61’), Foden, Haaland (Gomez 83’).

SUBS: Ortega Moreno, Gomes, Lewis, Knight, Wilson-Esbrand.

CRYSTAL PALACE: Guaita, Ward, Guéhi, Andersen, Mitchell (Richards 57’), Clyne (Olise 74'), Schlupp, Doucouré, Eze, Ayew (Mateta 74'), Edouard (Hughes 67').

SUBS: Johnstone (GK), Whitworth (GK), Milivojević, Ebiowei, Rodney.

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