The 'Haalandmania' continues at Manchester City. The Norwegian striker scored five goals on Tuesday, March 14, in the knockout stages of the Champions League, allowing the Citizens to crush the Germans from Leipzig (7-0), after the match drew (1-1) go.
With this quintuplet, the 22-year-old center forward enters the modern history books of the competition. He joins the Argentinian Lionel Messi and the Brazilian Luiz Adriano, authors of a similar feat respectively with Barcelona in 2012 against Bayer Leverkusen and with Chakhtar Donetsk in 2014 against BATE Borisov.
Before the break, Haaland had scored a hat-trick, three goals in a row. The former Dortmund player first converted a generous penalty to open the scoring (1-0, 22nd). On the throw-in, he rushed to the pressing, causing the ball to be recovered. He then asked for it again to set back Kevin de Bruyne and follow the Belgian's strike, which shook the bar, to push it with his head into the empty goal (2-0, 24th).
It was already the Norwegian's thirtieth goal in the Champions League for his 25th game in the competition. At 22 years and 236 days, that makes him the earliest player to reach that milestone in either category.
But the show was far from over. Sign that everything turned in his direction in this match, just before the break, he took advantage of a header from Rodri having touched the bar and rolled over the line to offer himself the hat-trick (3-0, 45th 2). The break did not dull his appetite for goals and, when he returned from the locker room, he added two goals to his tally by picking up balls badly repelled by the defense or the opposing goalkeeper (5-0, 53rd, and 6-0 , 57th).
Out at game time
In the meantime, Ilkay Gündogan had managed, with a fine cross shot, to worsen the score against the Germans who were already there (4-0, 49th), and De Bruyne crowned his excellent match with a wonder full skylight (7-0, 90th 2).
But it is obviously the quintuplet of the Norwegian that everyone will remember. There was almost half a second of disappointment from the Etihad spectators when his coach, Pep Guardiola, decided to take him off, in the 63rd minute, when a sextuplet would have been unheard of.
"If he gets there at 22, his life will be boring," Manchester City's Catalan coach mischievously judged. Now he still has the opportunity to do so. I made the switch because the game was over. »
“I told Pep on the way out that I would have liked to score a double hat-trick [one in the first half and one in the second], but hey, what do you want? “Reacted the player of the evening after his extraordinary performance.
With 33 goals in the competition, Haaland already exceeds the total of players like Arjen Robben (31), Wayne Rooney (30), Samuel Eto'o (30) or Kaka (30), in the most prestigious of European competitions. He also has 39 goals in 36 appearances for City and is already the most prolific goalscorer in a season in the club's history, beating a record dating back to 1928-29 by a certain Tommy. Johnson.
But despite these dizzying figures, City and their Norwegian know that at the end of the season it is the trophies won that create the real memories, and the Champions League, which has always eluded them until then. , would be the best catch of all.
Inter goes through a mouse hole
The other meeting of the evening turned out to be much more undecided between FC Porto and Inter Milan. Winners in the first leg at home, the Italians went through a mouse hole by hanging a draw (0-0), but that was enough for their happiness, they who had no longer reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League since 2011.
On Tuesday, the two successive balls that hit the uprights of Inter goalkeeper André Onana in stoppage time will remain as a symbol of the impotence of the Portuguese, who will not have been inferior overall.
If playmaker Otavio was suspended, coach Sérgio Conceiçao was at least able to launch Iranian Mehdi Taremi, who lacked precision when he entered the Italian area (28th). The Nerazzuri goalkeeper, André Onana, shone more, on the parade against attempts by Uribe (3rd), Eustaquio (19th) or Evanilson (39th).
Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa also showed his good reflexes on an attempt by Dzeko (21st). Then Martinez found himself far too alone to take advantage of an error by Uribe, from whom he had just stolen the ball (45th 2). At the break, Porto had 68% possession of the ball, but only one shot more (5 against 4).
Same scenario after the locker room. On the Porto side, Uribe shot above the crossbar (48th), then Galeno and Grujic lost their duels against Onana (55th, 76th). Opposite, Barella did not take advantage of the ball lost by midfielder Pepê (53rd).
FC Porto gave their last strength in added time but, on two consecutive actions, Onana deflected a header from Taremi on his post and that of Grujic found the crossbar (90th 5) to signal the end of Portuguese hopes.
The two evening qualifiers, Manchester City and Inter, join AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica and Chelsea in the quarter-finals. The last two tickets will be distributed on Wednesday. The Spaniards of Real Madrid, winners 5-2 in Liverpool, and the Italians of Naples, dominating in Frankfurt (2-0), killed part of the suspense in the first leg.