Erling Haaland set a new Premier League record to help Manchester City move back to the top of the table with a 3-0 win over West Ham.
Manchester City came into the game having seized the advantage in the title race, Arsenal’s four games without a win – including defeat to City – having put the title in the hands of Pep Guardiola’s men.
However, City still needed a win to move back to the top of the table following the Gunners’ 3-1 win over Chelsea on Tuesday evening, though despite bossing possession, came up against a well-organised West Ham.
City created a number of chances in the first half, with Jack Grealish a lively outlet down the left, though the reigning Champions couldn’t find a way through – the closest they came in the first half seeing a Rodri effort come back off the post.
West Ham’s resistance only extended four minutes into the second half though, Nathan Ake taking advantage of some sloppy defending to nod home a Riyad Mahrez free-kick.
Erling Haaland then made it 2-0 in the 70th minute, Man City winning the ball back in midfield before Jack Grealish broke forward and played a perfectly weighted pass into the Norwegian who lifted the ball over Lukasz Fabianski for a record-breaking 35th Premier League goal of the season.
The anatomy of Erling Haaland's record-breaking 35 Premier League goals. 🤖 pic.twitter.com/yo7IMLHFPs
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City added a third with four minutes to play, Phil Foden’s volley from the edge of the area taking a wicked deflection off Emerson and flying beyond a helpless Fabianski, the 1000th City goal during Guardiola’s tenure.
Speaking after the game, Erling Haaland was asked about his achievement which saw him surpass Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s record of 34 goals in a Premier League season, both of which were set in 42-game seasons in the 90’s.
“It’s a special night and a special moment,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m really happy and proud. I don’t know what else to say.
“I knew about the record, of course, but we tried to create chances to score and it wasn’t easy because they wanted to defend. We struggled in the first half but they eventually came.
“I spoke with Jack [Grealish] before the game and he said he wanted to do the assist for the record-breaking goal. It was a perfect bounce, I didn’t think to chip but the opportunity was there so I did it.”
Pep Guardiola arranged for Haaland’s teammates to provide a guard of honour to recognise his achievement, with Dixie Dean’s record of 63 goals in a season now in his sights.
“I’ve not seen [a guard of honour] before either. It was a nice feeling scoring that goal, it always is,” he said.
“It was painful when everyone hit me on the back in the guard of honour.
“I don’t think of this [breaking Dixie Dean’s record] now. I’ll sleep on this game, wake up tomorrow and then try to get three points against Leeds. It won’t be easy with a new manager.
Most goals scored across all competitions in a single English top-flight season:
63 – Dixie Dean
51 – Erling Haaland
50 – Vic Watson, Tom Waring
There’s only one more player to catch. 🪜
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“I can’t keep thinking of these records or my head would go crazy. I will go home, play some video games, eat and then sleep. Tomorrow I must think about Leeds.”
City are still on course to secure a historic treble, with Real Madrid to come in the Champions League semi-finals, and Manchester United in the FA Cup final. However, Haaland insists the side are solely focusing on their next game.
“Yes [I would swap all my goals for the treble]. It’s the most important thing. Everyone knows it’s possible but we can’t think of the FA Cup final now. We just have to think of Leeds. Every one of the last nine games now is a cup final.”