05 Sep 2022 | 08:49 | Football
Pep Guardiola has challenged Erling Haaland to become a Manchester City legend after the Norwegian striker’s second consecutive hat-trick inspired a 6-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
Haaland destroyed Forest with a brilliant treble that lasted 26 minutes in the first half at the Etihad Stadium, just four days after he scored three goals against Crystal Palace.
The 22-year-old is the first player in the Premier League era to score nine goals in his first five league appearances, breaking the record shared by former City icons Sergio Aguero and Micky Quinn.
Haaland still has a long way to go to catch Aguero, Man City’s top scorer, but Guardiola is confident his near-season signing from Borussia Dortmund can make his name in the culture club folk.
“Sergio is a legend. No one can break the place in the hearts of Man City fans, when he scored the most important goal in modern history,” said Guardiola.
“Erling has quality there. It’s not about him or Sergio. What Sergio has done is amazing. But Erling has this talent.
“When Man City bought Erling, everyone was talking about what he did in the past. What we want to do is help him. Hopefully he can enjoy and score more goals.
“What he’s done in Norway, Austria and Germany, he tries to do here. He’s talented, we know that.”
Haaland have been the favorites to finish as Premier League top scorer this season.
But Guardiola insists helping champions City retain the title will mean more to his striker than any personal compliment.
“I think what we want is to win trophies. If the record and the goals help us to win it will be perfect,” he said.
“Knowing him a little bit, I don’t know if he would be happy to break the record if we didn’t win the title.
“I think he wants to be a part of that. The better we play, the more chances he’ll have to score.”
However, it is a question football fans around the world are starting to ask – how many goals can Erling Haaland score against this Man City?
He’s scored everywhere he’s played – everyone knows that – but this City side means the level of service he’s receiving has to be at least a few notches up.
Now, five games into the Premier League season, he has a league record of nine goals – and it could be argued he just needs to go through.
It’s a scary thought, but Haaland seems capable of rewriting history when it comes to scoring.