EPL

Manchester City 3-1 Leicester City: Haaland at the double to match Salah record

By Sports Desk April 15, 2023

Erling Haaland matched Mohamed Salah's scoring record in a 38-game Premier League season as Manchester City swatted aside lowly Leicester City 3-1.

Free-scoring City had the game won by the 25th minute at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with Haaland scoring twice after John Stones' stunning opener.

Subbed off at half-time, Haaland has now netted 32 league goals this season, matching Salah's haul from the 2017-18 campaign. 

Sloppy defending allowed Kelechi Iheanacho to grab a consolation for Leicester in Dean Smith's first match in charge, with the former City striker hitting the post in stoppage time as the hosts rather staggered over the line to reduce Arsenal's lead to three points.

City enjoyed 93 per cent possession in the opening five minutes and were rewarded when Stones arched a brilliant left-footed strike into the right-hand corner.

Leicester's slim chances of snatching a much-needed shock victory were further dented when Wilfred Ndidi was deemed to have handled from Jack Grealish's cross.

Haaland slammed away the resulting penalty, and had his second 12 minutes later, brilliantly collecting in Kevin De Bruyne's throughball and lifting a cute finish over Daniel Iversen.

With an eye on the midweek trip to Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola took the chance to rest both of his goalscorers at half-time.

Rodri joined Stones and Haaland in earning a rest shortly after, with Kalvin Phillips handed a rare league appearance, although City's composure turned to complacency when Iheanacho tapped in after Harry Souttar's header was saved by Ederson.

James Maddison missed a golden chance to set up a grandstand finish when he failed to beat Ederson, before Iheanacho struck the woodwork between two hopeful penalty appeals, albeit Leicester's resurgence was too little, too late.

What does it mean? Almost too easy for City

Guardiola will not have been happy with his side’s display in the second half, albeit the stuttering nature of their performance can in large part be put down to the amount of changes made.

The first half was a different matter altogether. City purred, having eight shots, scoring with all three they got on target and registering 1.9 expected goals to Leicester's 0.22.

Leicester's new interim boss Smith, meanwhile, will target matches elsewhere as he looks to drag the Foxes out of danger, though his team had their chances to make a fight of it late on.

Another record tumbles

Haaland's goal tally for the season now stands at 47. The British single-season record stands at 63, scored by Everton legend Dixie Dean back in the 1920s, and you would not bet against the 22-year-old surpassing it.

His next top-flight goal will see him set a record for the most scored in a 38-game Premier League campaign, while he is only two short of the outright competition record, which is shared by Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole.

Ton up for De Bruyne

De Bruyne was the creator of Haaland's second goal, nipping in ahead of the lacklustre Ndidi to steal the ball in midfield before playing a perfect pass through to City's superstar striker.

It brought up De Bruyne's 100th Premier League assist for City, while it was the eighth time the Belgium international has teed up Haaland in the competition.

What's next?

City travel to Bavaria for that game against Bayern, while Leicester face Wolves next Saturday.

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