Haaland sets Premier League goal record as Manchester City go top

Norwegian striker nets 35th league goal of the season in 3-0 win against West Ham.

haaland celebrating
Haaland left the field to a guard of honour from his Manchester City teammates to mark his achievement. [Jason Cairnduff/Reuters]

Erling Haaland has set a English Premier League goals record by scoring his 35th of the season in Manchester City’s 3-0 win against West Ham.

The 22-year-old Norwegian striker, in his first season in English football, struck in the 70th minute at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday to give the defending champions a 2-0 lead.

Haaland had equaled the previous record jointly held by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole on Sunday at Fulham with his 34th of the season. He moved out on his own with the most Premier League goals in a single season with his latest strike.

“It was a nice feeling as with every single goal I score,” Haaland said. “”Especially to win the game is really important.”

Haaland has now scored 51 goals in all competitions in a remarkable first year at City.

His feat is even more impressive given that Shearer and Cole set the previous benchmark in an era when the league was played over 42 games. Haaland still has five more matches in which to extend his record.

Haaland left the field to a guard of honour from his City teammates to mark his achievement.

His father, Alfie Haaland, who also played for City, watched from one of the boxes with a wide smile and accepted congratulatory handshakes from everyone around him.

“He deserved [the guard of honour],” manager Pep Guardiola said. “All the team deserved it because without the team, he couldn’t do it, but he’s a special striker.

“We are very pleased for him because he’s a joy, not just to work with him [as] manager. I think everyone is happy to have him with us. I think in football when there is a special occasion, we have to show how special it is as [we did] today with Erling. To overcome Andy Cole and Alan Shearer – incredible top, top strikers – it’s special.”

Top of the league

The win took the treble-chasing champions a point above Arsenal at the top of the Premier League, and with a game in hand, they seem to be cruising towards a fifth title in six years.

The victory came 25 years to the day after City were relegated to the third tier of English football in one of the lowest points of the club’s history.

The contrast with the team now is remarkable although City – perhaps with next week’s trip to Real Madrid in mind – were far from their energetic best.

Source: News Agencies