Haaland Hits FA Cup Hat-trick As Man City Rout Burnley


Haaland Hits FA Cup Hat-trick As Man City Rout Burnley

Erling Haaland scored his second hat-trick in five days as Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup semi-finals by hammering Championship leaders Burnley at Etihad Stadium.

Haaland followed his five-goal haul against RB Leipzig in the Champions League by claiming another three to take his tally for the season to 42.

The Norwegian is now just two short of the record jointly held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mohamed Salah for the most goals for an English top-flight club in all competitions in the Premier League era.

Julian Alvarez added two goals and substitute Cole Palmer also scored on a sobering night for former City skipper Vincent Kompany, whose Burnley side have surged 13 points clear at the top of the Championship.

Burnley did well in the first half but could not match Haaland’s staggering efficiency in front of goal.

City opened up in the second period though, underlining the chasm in class between England’s top two divisions.

It will be City’s sixth semi-final appearance in seven seasons under Pep Guardiola, and on this form few will argue against them lifting the trophy for only the second time in that period as they retain hopes of completing a Treble-winning campaign.

The draw for the FA Cup semi-finals takes place on Sunday following Brighton’s tie against Grimsby Town (14:15 GMT), live on BBC One.

Haaland now has an incredible six hat-tricks in his debut season in English football – already half as many as brilliant Argentine Sergio Aguero managed in his whole City career.

Considering City would play another 18 games if they reach both the FA Cup and Champions League finals, it is not beyond the realms of possibility Haaland will finish the campaign with about 60 goals, which has never come close to being achieved in modern times.

The problem for defences is he has so many attributes.

His first goal owed much to his strength as goalkeeper Stefan Ortega lofted a long ball downfield. Haaland had the strength to hold off Ameen Al-Dakhil, then steered the ball back to Julian Alvarez who delivered a superb pass through the Burnley defence. Clarets keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell left his line believing he could get to the ball first. He soon discovered Haaland is also exceptionally quick. The Norwegian beat him to it and prodded a first-time effort under the keeper.

Three minutes later Haaland had his second.

This time, Phil Foden delivered a low cross, which the Norwegian had the intelligence to lift over Peacock-Farrell into the net.

His hat-trick goal was about being in the right place at the right time as Foden’s shot bounced back off the post as Haaland lengthened his stride to apply a first-time finish.

If there is a complaint, it is that Haaland is scoring too quickly. For the second game running Guardiola took him off with just over an hour played.