The difference of Man City compared to previous seasons can be easily recognized. It was the arrival of Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker could be the solution to the Blue Man’s Champions League dream.
|Haaland scored 1 goal and assisted 1 goal in Man City’s 3-0 win over Bayern.|
Since being invested by UAE owners, Man City has grown into a dominant force in England. However, at the European level, they are still just “apprentices”, a rich guy who has not been able to enter the elite ranks of the old continent’s football.
Man City has twice reached the semi-finals and once reached the Champions League final, but have not been able to raise the prestigious Silver Cup once. This team still seems to lack something to be able to step up to the top podium.
And that could be a game-changing star like Erling Haaland. Although he has only arrived at Etihad Stadium since last summer, the Norwegian striker has immediately become the trump card in all of Pep Guardiola’s attack plans.
Having a comprehensive striker with the ability to score scary goals, Man City like a tiger grows more wings. Although in the Premier League they are 6 points behind Arsenal, but the chance to win the title is still quite open. And more importantly, Haaland is helping Man City fly high in the Champions League.
In the group stage, Haaland scored 5 goals to help Man City top Group G with an unbeaten record. And the Norwegian striker is even more explosive in the knock-out stage.
In the 1/8 round, Haaland scored 5 goals in the second leg against RB Leipzig to help Man City continue with a total score of 8-1. And in the first leg of the quarter-finals against Bayern, which ended on the morning of April 12, the 22-year-old star had 1 goal and 1 assist.
In the 70th minute, Haaland went down the left wing before crossing inside just to let Bernardo Silva head to make it 2-0. And just 7 minutes later, he himself put his name on the scoreboard with a kick to cushion the ball close to the goal after a John Stones header.
The Norwegian striker has become the Premier League player with the most goals in all competitions in a single season with 45 goals, surpassing the record of Salah and Van Nistelrooy (both 44).
Haaland is also the first player in Europe’s top five leagues to contribute to 51 goals in all competitions in the 2022/23 season. Specifically, he scored 45 goals and added 6 assists after 39 matches. In addition, no player has scored 33 Champions League goals in just 25 games like the Man City star.
Sofascore gave Haaland the highest score of the match (8.4 points) when he had 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots on target, 28 touches, 80% pass accuracy, 1 assist and created a clear opportunity.
Haaland’s dynamism, speed and ability to suppress help Man City have more diverse options for attack. No longer just short passes that pop into the opponent’s goal, the green Man can now cross the wing or pass long from home for Haaland to speed up.
With the old way of playing, Man City can easily dominate England but find it difficult in Europe against opponents with diverse playing styles. But with the presence of Haaland, they can now confidently beat any opponent.
Previously, Pep often had the habit of thinking too much before big matches because he did not have a killer striker in the front line. The Spanish military leader always has to calculate the selection of personnel for the attack to confront each opponent. And sometimes those calculations backfire.
But with Haaland, he didn’t have to think too much. The proof is that despite facing a cavalry opponent, Thomas Tuchel, Pep still uses the same scheme as usual in recent matches and has not changed much.
It is undeniable that Bayern is in an unstable period when it has just changed its general. But indeed Man City had a very good match and made the Gray Lobster completely “turn off the power”.
After 8 encounters with Bayern, all of which had to be defeated, Haaland finally had a taste of victory for the first time. He has broken his own trap and is aiming to destroy Man City.
The green half of Manchester is gradually approaching the goal they most desire, winning the Champions League for the first time in history. And Haaland will be the fulcrum for their big dream.