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▶ Haaland scores five goals as Manchester City cruise into UCL quarterfinals [2023/03/17   ]

Erling Haaland scored five goals to send Manchester City through to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, with a 7-0 victory (8-1 on aggregate) over RB Leipzig, at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

Haaland put the game and the tie to bed with his first-half hat trick, making it 4-1 on aggregate to Pep Guardiola’s side, before adding his fourth and fifth before he was substituted in the 63rd minute. The list of players to score five goals in a single Champions League game is short: Lionel Messi (2012, vs Bayer Leverkusen) and Luiz Adriano (2014, vs BATE Borisov).

With his fifth goal, Haaland also broke Manchester City’s single-season goals record (all competitions), which previously belonged to Tommy Johnson (38 goals). The way Haaland is going, he will likely be the only player to challenge his own mark — now 39, momentarily — for many, many years to come.

Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne scored Manchester City’s other goals on the night.

Haaland historically dominant in Champions League

Tuesday’s hat trick four five goals took Haaland’s career tally of Champions League goals to 33, passing Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez, Samuel Eto’o and Kaka (to name a few) on the night. Haaland is, of course, 22 years old.

Eto’o required 78 games to reach his 30 UCL goals; 85 for Rooney; and 86 for Kaka. Erling Haaland has played just 26.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time record holder with 141, followed closely by Messi’s 129.

What’s next?

The draw for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals will be held on Friday (7 am ET). Chelsea, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Benfica are already through to the last-eight, with Real Madrid (5-2 ahead of Liverpool) also expected to join them. Napoli hold a 2-0 advantage over Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of the Serie A side’s home leg on Wednesday (4 pm ET).

Key storylines

Guardiola knows the pressure is on City to win the Champions League this season, especially with the charges against them for alleged breaches of Premier League rules. They trail Arsenal in the Premier League title race by five points with 11 games to go and although they obviously want to (and can) win every single trophy they play for, winning the Champions League this season is their main priority. Kevin de Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden have all looked back to their best in recent weeks and City are cranking through the gears as they love to do at this point of the season.

Leipzig proved to have plenty of fight in them in the first leg as they clawed their way back into the game and Gvardiol’s header sees them head to the Eithad level. They are solid in midfield and defense and with Timo Werner, Dani Olmo, Andre Silva and Dominik Szoboszlai in attack, they have plenty of options and will be very dangerous on transitions. If they had Chrisopher Nkunku back fit they would have even more of a chance to dump City out of Europe.
Manchester City team news, lineup options

Pep Guardiola has no fitness issues at all to worry about. That gives him so many options in midfield and attack but Haaland, De Bruyne, Foden and Grealish seem to be his go-to players right now. However, Mahrez scored in the first leg and Bernardo Silva has been superb in recent months as he’s slotted in all over the place.

RB Leipzig team news, lineup options

Leipzig will be without Xaver Schlager (ligament damage) and it is likely Christopher Nkunku (hamstring strain) will not be available as both were injured in their recent defeat at Borussia Dortmund. Leipzig have also been without Abdou Diallo who has been training on his own as he returns from knee issues, while goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi is out for the season after knee surgery.

- The origianl text resource is from Yahoo Sports

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