A fantastic four-goal display from Erling Haaland helped earn City a 5-1 win over Wolves at the Etihad Stadium and move us within one point of the Premier League summit.

The Norwegian was at his unstoppable best as he converted two penalties and an incredible header to seal a ninth City hat-trick before the half-time whistle was blown.

He then added the fourth eight minutes into the second period to restore City’s three-goal advantage just moments after Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan had scored.

Late substitute Julian Alvarez - making his 100th City appearance - added further gloss to the scoreline with a fifth in the closing stages.

Pep Guardiola’s side have now gone 20 league matches without defeat and, with a game in hand on leaders Arsenal, are just three victories from a record fourth successive top-flight title.

What happened

The Etihad was cheering before the players had even taken to the pitch, with Club legend David Silva making a welcome return as a guest for the first time since leaving in 2020.

Once the game began, the Blues were on the front foot immediately.

After attacking the Wolves box from all angles, the reward for our pressure came in the 10th minute in the form of a penalty.

Josko Gvardiol was the quickest to a Bernardo Silva cross, connecting with his right foot.

Wolves’ Rayan Ait-Nouri collided into the Croatian and Craig Pawson had no option but to award the spot kick.

Erling Haaland did the rest, sending Jose Sa the wrong way for his 22nd Premier League goal of the season.

Haaland could have had a second just a few minutes later, but his header was saved well by a Sa frantically rushing across his goal line.

City remained in the ascendancy, with Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo all buzzing about in the pockets around the central striker.

Haaland’s second instead came in the 35th minute with a header few other than our No.9 could score.

Rodrigo won the ball 30 yards out before receiving the pass back off De Bruyne.

The Spaniard then chipped to the back post where Haaland was already hanging in mid air, suspended above his marker and ready to nod the ball back across goal.

Our deadly striker’s hat-trick was complete before the break with his second penalty of the game.

After racing through on goal, Haaland appeared to have got the ball caught under his feet.

However, a VAR check proved that the 23-year-old had instead been felled by defender Nelson Semedo.

He dusted himself down and cushioned his shot beyond Sa’s dive to match the three goals he netted in Wolves’ visit to the Etihad last season.

Wolves pulled a goal back seven minutes into the second period when Jean-Ricner Bellegarde crossed evaded Ederson, only for Hwang Hee-chan to sweep home.

However, the three-goal margin was restored almost instantly.

Racing on to a ball over the top by Foden, Haaland shifted it inside Max Kilman and fired for the far corner.

From the moment it left his boot, all 53,481 inside the Etihad knew the net would bulge.

Haaland pushed for a fifth, stinging Sa’s palms again and performing an acrobatic bicycle kick that was deflected off his boot by Toti’s head.

Instead, the final goal of the game would come after Haaland’s standing ovation in the 82nd minute.

His replacement, Julian Alvarez, on his 100th City appearance, burst into the box and slid the ball home with his left to complete a vital and impressive City win.


CITY XIEderson, Walker (C), Akanji, Ake (Stones 69), Gvardiol, Rodrigo, Kovacic, De Bruyne (Nunes 80), Foden (Grealish 80), Bernardo (Doku 80), Haaland (Alvarez 82)

Subs: Ortega Moreno, Dias, Gomez, Lewis

WOLVES XI: Sa, Semedo, Toti, Kilman (C), H. Bueno (S. Bueno 70), Traore, Gomes, Lemina (Bellegarde 45), Ait-Nouri, Cunha (Sarabia 76), Hwang

Subs: Bentley, Doherty, Gonzalez, Okoduwa, Chirewa, Fraser

Man of the match

Erling Haaland - 21 career hat-tricks at the age of 23. Nine in City colours and six in the Premier League. The Norwegian is a goalscoring machine.

Having missed a couple of games in April, Haaland returned as a second half substitute in last week’s win at Nottingham Forest and was immaculate as he sealed the three points.

He was simply unplayable in this one, demonstrating all of the qualities that make him the deadliest striker anywhere in the world.

His first required composure from the spot but it was his second that highlighted the best of our No.9.

He appeared to defy gravity as he hung in the air to meet Rodrigo‘s cross with his head.

The third came thanks to a lightning quick burst of pace through the middle that put Nelson Semedo on the wrong side of goal.

The Portuguese defender could only foul our man, who picked himself up and converted with ease.

He wasn’t done there, cutting inside and guiding the ball into the far corner early on in the second period.

With 25 Premier League goals this season, he’s now overwhelming favourite for a second successive Golden Boot in his first two years on these shores.

In total, he has an unbelievable 88 goals in 94 appearances.

Pep Guardiola reaction

“He is so tall so to return to top form, you need time. It’s not like Jeremy or Phil or Julian, they can be ready.

“Happy for his performance and exceptional goals. Penalties as well because we know how sometimes it is not easy. Really pleased for him.

“The biggest importance is just one week left. Three games. Nine points we will be champions. Seven points, six points, three points, Arsenal will win the Premier League.”

David’s day

David Silva is one of the greatest players in Manchester City’s history.

The Spaniard made 436 appearances for City between 2010 and 2020, winning 13 major trophies and recognition as one of the most graceful players the Premier League has ever seen.

As his departure came while football was played behind closed doors due to COVID, City fans have never had the chance to properly demonstrate our gratitude.

The now-retired playmaker can now be in no doubt just how much he is loved in Manchester.

Minutes before kick-off, the 38-year-old was introduced to the crowd and appeared pitchside with his family.

What followed was an outpouring of adoration for a player that is immortalised with his own statue outside the Etihad Stadium.

What it means

City are just one point behind Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with a game in hand.

We have 82 points from 35 games, while the Gunners are on 83 after 36 outings.

As such, we know three more victories will seal a record fourth successive Premier League title.

What’s next

City head to Craven Cottage next weekend to face Marco Silva’s Fulham.

That match kicks off at 12:30 (UK) on Saturday 11 May.

We beat the Cottagers 5-1 in the reverse fixture at the Etihad back in September.

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