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Manchester City 5-1 Wolves: Haaland nets four in rout

Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland scored four times as Manchester City maintained the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 5-1 thrashing of Wolves.

Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat of Bournemouth earlier in the day meant City had to respond in the evening kick-off and they did so in style, a dominant performance proving far too much for Gary O’Neil’s mid-table side.

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Haaland opened the scoring in the 12th-minute with a contentious penalty and then doubled City’s lead with a towering header. Another Haaland penalty in first-half stoppage time effectively ended the game as a contest and, even though Hwang Hee-chan pulled one back eight minutes after the restart, Haaland replied almost immediately.

Substitute Julian Alvarez came on for Haaland after 82 minutes and made an immediate impact to round off a wonderful performance from the defending champions.

The result means City end the day as they started it, a point behind Arsenal but with a game in hand.

Pep Guardiola’s men started quickly, their high press keeping Wolves pinned inside their own half.

Time and again, the visitors tried to play out only to come unstuck and lose possession.

It seemed only a matter of time before City would score and the only surprise was that the opener did not come until the 12th minute. It wasn’t without controversy, though. Bernardo Silva’s cross to the far post picked out Josko Gvardiol who was caught by Rayan Ait-Nouri in the act of shooting.

Referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot and Haaland made no mistake.

A brilliant save from Jose Sa denied Haaland a quick-fire second but there was nothing the Wolves goalkeeper could do to keep out a brilliant header from the Norway international after he’d been picked out by the excellent Rodri.

It was 3-0 before half-time. Haaland raced clear of the Wolves defence and was clipped by Nelson Semedo. This time Pawson waved away the appeals but VAR intervened after replays showed there was contact on the big striker.

Haaland again went to Sa’s right and again found the back of the net to complete the 21st hat-trick of his senior career.

Hwang prodded home after 53 minutes following some sloppy goalkeeping from Ederson but it merely provoked City, who responded within a minute, Phil Foden lifting a ball over the top for Haaland to run on to, cut inside his marker and fire a left-footed shot into the corner.

It had been a chastening afternoon for Wolves and there was still time for it to get worse as Rodri burst through, picked out Alvarez and the Argentine World Cup winner coolly finished past Sa.

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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