Last night Erling Haaland scored five against RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League. It was a phenomenal performance, coming in Manchester City’s 7-0 (8-1 on aggregate) thrashing of the German side, and broke or equalled several records. This included Tommy Johnson’s record of most goals in a season for the club. Haaland’s display against Leipzig took him to 39 goals for the season in all competitions.
Tommy Johnson’s record was established in 1928-29 when he scored 38 in 40 League and cup games. I know some will think ‘ah, but with the Champions League group stages and additional competitions like the League Cup they play more games today’ well… Haaland has achieved the record in only 36 games! That’s less than Johnson took.
Other records tumbled last night too. Haaland had netted 10 for City in the UEFA Champions League by the end of the Leipzig game… that was better than any City player had previously managed in a single campaign in the Champions League and of course the campaign is not over!
Haaland’s five against Leipzig equalled the record for the most goals in a Champions League game. His achievements match Lionel Messi for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen in 2012, and Luiz Adriano for Shakhtar Donetsk against BATE Borisov in 2014.
After Leipzig, Haaland has scored 33 goals in 25 Champions League games, becoming the youngest player to cross the 30-goal mark at 22 years and 236 days old, 116 days younger than previous recorder holder Kylian Mbappe.
After the match Haaland told BT Sport: ‘My super strength is scoring goals. A lot of it is being quick in the mind and trying to put it where the goalkeeper is not…
‘I was so tired after my celebrations.’
When asked about the goals afterwards Pep Guardiola commented: ‘Five goals… The problem for this guy is if he doesn’t score two or three goals he will be criticised.’ That just about summed things up well as for weeks prior to this Haaland, despite his incredible record has often been criticised by some in the media. For example, the former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher had been critical in February: ‘I’ve felt this season when he’s scored his goals, I think we’ve only seen 60 per cent of Haaland. You think of that goal he scored on the first game of the season against West Ham, the space in behind, he makes that run.’
‘I know that’s not there that often with the way City play. He’s come from a league and Borussia Dortmund where it’s a counter-attacking league and it’s end to end and you see that blistering pace. You don’t see it. He may have actually picked the wrong club to actually get the best out of him.’
No one connected with Manchester City was feeling like that, especially not as Leipzig were thrashed!
You can read about Tommy Johnson here: