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‘Incredible Haaland’: Reaction to Man City’s thrashing of Man Utd

The scoreline belied Manchester City’s dominance throughout 90 minutes, ending with a 6-3 win over Manchester United.

manchester derby
In eight league games, Haaland has already scored 14 goals [Action Images via Reuters]

Manchester City was at its imperious best as the team coasted to a 6-3 win over neighbours Manchester United in the new season’s first Manchester derby.

Erling Haaland notched up his third hattrick in as many home games and City academy graduate Phil Foden added three from his side to mark the first hattrick of his senior career.

It was only the third time in Premier League history that two players from the same team have scored hattricks.

While Anthony Martial’s quick brace towards the end of the game save some face for United, the scoreline belied City’s dominance throughout 90 minutes.

Going into the derby, there was quiet optimism building at United following a run of four straight league wins. But, the gulf in class between the two sides was starkly evident on Sunday.

Here is what the world had to say about the game:

In eight league games, Haaland has already scored 14 goals. If he stays fit and continues in the same fashion, Premier League records are going to tumble. Few players have taken the league by storm in the manner that he has.

Haaland’s performance earned him an elusive 10/10 rating from the French magazine L’Equipe, which also holds the annual Ballon D’Or award.

If he continues the same way, the Norwegian will build a strong case for this prestigious award next year.

“Last season he could not play many games for Dortmund (Borussia Dortmund) because he was injured all the time. He arrived here and we have incredible physios – to them, he can play every 90 minutes,” said Pep Guardiola, City manager.

City legend and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero couldn’t contain his delight at his former team’s performance.

Translation: What madness the City! Incredible Haaland and my favourite @PhilFoden Let’s go @ManCity! Manchester is blue

While Haaland and Foden grabbed the headlines, Jack Grealish too had arguably his best game in a City shirt following his big move from Aston Villa last summer.

In Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte’s absence, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji were impressive at the heart of the defence and kept United at bay. The Dutch centre-back, in particular, was singled out for praise by Guardiola.

“We need a right foot and a left foot, and Nathan [Aké] I have confidence in him – all the actions in the first half he did it perfectly,” Guardiola said.

United manager Erik ten Hag didn’t hold back in his assessment of his team’s performance after the game.

“I will show the team tomorrow we could have been on the front foot. In the first goal, we won the ball and could have created a chance and gave it away. That is unacceptable. It’s quite simple, it’s a lack of belief. We get undisciplined at following rules and you get hammered, that’s happened today,” ten Hag said.

The United manager’s decision to not bring Cristiano Ronaldo on as a substitute yesterday was a big talking point from the game and the Portuguese cut a moody figure on the bench.

“I didn’t bring him on out of respect for his big career. And the other thing, there was then the advantage I could bring Antony Martial on. He needs the minutes but I don’t want to point it out like that.”

Manchester United legend and Sky Sports analyst Roy Keane saw the decision in a different light.

“I think United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. He should have been let go before the transfer window. The manager held on to him. Ok, he said he wanted options. But you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He is one of the greatest players ever”

The decision to leave Brazilian midfielder Casemiro on the bench also had United fans scratching their heads.

Brentford FC, who defeated United 4-0 earlier in the season, took to social media to pile onto United’s misery.

Source: Al Jazeera