Erling Haaland got on the scoresheet but Norway lost 3-1 to Denmark as the latter concluded their Euro 2024 preparations in style.

Pierre-Emile Hojberg opened the scoring for the hosts in Brondby on Saturday, drilling home with a powerful right-footed effort in the 12th minute.

Defender Jannik Vestergaard added a second nine minutes later as he headed home Andreas Skov Olsen's teasing corner kick. 

Manchester City star Haaland thought he had halved the deficit in the 65th minute only to see his effort ruled out after a VAR review, but he did score seven minutes later, finishing from Martin Odegaard's intricate pick out. 

Yet the Danes would give their supporters the perfect send-off as they head to Germany, with Youseff Poulsen restoring their two-goal advantage in stoppage time.

Elsewhere, Denmark's Group C opponents Serbia also managed an impressive victory ahead of their meeting on June 25, securing a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden in Stockholm. 

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic gave the Eagles an early advantage at the Friends Arena, with captain Aleksandr Mitrovic scoring his 58th international goal on the hour-mark. Dusan Tadic rounded off the scoring 10 minutes later with a fine finish beyond Robin Olsen. 

Serbia will face England, who lost to Iceland on Friday, in their opening match at Euro 2024.

Hungary also won by the same scoreline in Debrecen as a rampant 11-minute flurry was enough to secure a comfortable victory. 

Barnabas Varga teed up Roland Sallai for the opening goal of the game, and then scored twice in quick succession, first finishing from close range before Sallai turned provider for his team-mate to conclude the contest. 

Switzerland and Austria played out a 1-1 draw at the Kybunpark as Christoph Baumgartner saw his fifth-minute strike cancelled out by defender Silvan Widmer. 

Erling Haaland netted the 22nd hat-trick of his career for club and country as Norway eased to a 3-0 win over Kosovo in Wednesday's international friendly at Ullevaal Stadion.

The Manchester City striker, who was crowned the Premier League's top scorer in 2023-24 for the second season running, took just 15 minutes to get off the mark in Oslo.

Haaland headed home David Moller Wolfe's cross inside the six-yard box, before doubling his tally in the 70th minute with a clipped finish after being played through on goal.

The third and final goal arrived three minutes later as the prolific striker exchanged passes with Aron Donnum and fired home after Kosovo made a mess of cutting out the danger.

Haaland now has 30 goals in just 32 appearances for Norway, who face Denmark in their next friendly on Saturday.

Euro 2024-bound Denmark were themselves in friendly action on Wednesday as they earned a late 2-1 win over Sweden thanks to a late Christian Eriksen strike.

Eriksen netted via a dripping shot in the 86th minute at Parken Stadium after Alexander Isak had earlier cancelled out Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's opener.

The Premier League season is over, Euro 2024 is approaching, and now it is time for the FA Cup final to round off the English domestic season.

Manchester City and Manchester United, as they did last season, will face off at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

City won 2-1 in June 2023, with Ilkay Gundogan's stunning volley after just 12 seconds setting the tone for a dominant performance from Pep Guardiola's side, who were en route to winning a treble.

There's no treble on the cards for City this season, though after clinching an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title, another double is in their reach.

"We play FA Cup [and] we can do back-to-back doubles, we have [a] chance to do this," Guardiola said on Friday. "The FA Cup for itself is FA Cup, Wembley, all our fans going to London. It's the last game of season, last effort. 

"I'm impressed how well we have trained after a few days off, so focused, everyone wants to be involved, we will do our best for sure."  

United boss Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, looks set to take charge of his final game at the club, with the Red Devils reportedly having made the decision to sack him regardless of Saturday's result.

Using Opta data, here's all you need to know...

What's expected?

Unsurprisingly, Opta's model makes Man City the favourites, with a 68 per cent win likelihood. United's chances are rated at just 14.4 per cent, with a 17.7 per cent chance it finishes level after 120 minutes, meaning penalties would be needed.

City are unbeaten in their last 35 matches in all competitions (W29 D6) – it’s the second-longest run by a top-flight club in English football history, after Nottingham Forest’s run of 40 in 1978.

There has been a gulf between the rivals this season. City won both of their league meetings against United by an aggregate of 6-1. The last time they beat their neighbours three times in the same campaign was in 1969-70.

City fare well in some significant data points. They have the biggest positive difference (+83) between total shots (127) and shots faced (44) in the Premier League this season, and the biggest positive difference (+9.6) between their expected goals (xG) of 14.8 and expected goals against (xGA) of 5.2.

With City topping the Premier League and United way down in eighth, 31 points separated the rivals.

City scored the most goals in the Premier League, with 96, 29 more than United (57), whose xG was also 57.

United's defensive issues have been well-documented. Their xGA stood at a whopping 70 across their 38 league matches, with only the three relegated sides and West Ham having a worse figure, while only Sheffield United (678) allowed more shots than the Red Devils (667).

Ten Hag on the brink

United are looking to win the FA Cup for the 13th time, something only Arsenal (14) have ever done more. However, the Red Devils have failed to win the trophy in four of their last five final appearances, with the exception coming in 2016 against Crystal Palace under Louis van Gaal (2-1).

There have been six previous occasions of a side finishing 8th or lower facing that season’s champions in the showpiece – Aston Villa (10th) beat Manchester United 2-1 in 1957, but since then such sides have lost all five finals by an aggregate score of 15-0.

United have won five of their last seven FA Cup games against City. However, both defeats in that run have come in games at Wembley (2011 semi-final, 2023 final).

The Red Devils have lost six of their last seven meetings with City in all competitions (W1), including each of the last three in a row. They last lost four consecutively against them between 2013 and 2014.

United have lost 19 games and conceded 84 goals in all competitions this season. They last lost 20 in a campaign in 1973-74 (22) and last conceded more than 84 in 1963-64 (89).

This is only the second time in FA Cup history the same fixture has been played in the final in consecutive years, after Blackburn Rovers v Queen's Park Rangers in 1884 and 1885, and the sensible money would be on City repeating their victory from last year.

Serial winners

Much has been said of City's dominance in the Premier League, but Guardiola's team just have to be lauded for their incredible hunger to keep winning.

City could complete the league title and FA Cup double for the third time, something only previously achieved by Manchester United (1993-94, 1995-96 and 1998-99) and Arsenal (1970-71, 1997-98 and 2001-02). The Citizens did so in 2018-19 and 2022-23 and thus could become the first team to do so in consecutive campaigns.

They are aiming to win the FA Cup for the eighth time and for the first time ever in consecutive years.

Guardiola's side have won each of their last 11 matches in the FA Cup; excluding byes and void games, there have only been two longer winning runs in the competition’s history – Blackburn Rovers (20 between 1883 and 1886) and Chelsea (13 between 2009 and 2011).


Man City: Erling Haaland

Phil Foden is the Premier League Player of the Year, while he has been involved in 10 goals in his last nine appearances in all competitions, scoring nine and assisting one. He has also netted six goals in his last five games against United, while only against Brighton (eight) has he scored more career goals than his six against the Red Devils.

Yet it is Haaland who United's ramshackle defence will be most fearful of.

Haaland is the top-scoring Premier League player in all competitions this season with 38 goals. He netted 52 times last season and could become the first Premier League player to score 40+ in consecutive campaigns.

He has also been involved in nine goals in five appearances against United in all competitions (six goals, three assists), more than he has against any other side as a City player.

Man Utd: Bruno Fernandes 

Fernandes scored from the penalty spot for United in last season's FA Cup final.

He could become the fifth United player to score in the showpiece in two different years, after Bryan Robson (1983 and 1990), Norman Whiteside (1983 and 1985), Mark Hughes (1990 and 1994) and Eric Cantona (1994 and 1996).

Marcus Rashford, having been left out of the England squad for Euro 2024, will be looking to offer a reminder of his qualities, too.

Erling Haaland had no doubts over Manchester City winning the Premier League title after Tuesday's win at Tottenham, with that expectation coming to fruition against West Ham five days later.

Phil Foden scored an early double before Rodri's second-half strike made sure of a fourth straight top-flight crown with Sunday's 3-1 victory over David Moyes' visitors at Etihad Stadium.

City are the first team in English top-flight history to lift the title in four consecutive seasons, having won the league in 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 campaigns.

That success appeared somewhat a certainty after Haaland scored twice in the midweek 2-0 victory over Spurs, with the Norway talisman sure City would get over the line and pip Arsenal to glory.

"After we beat Spurs we kind of knew we were going to do it," the City forward told Sky Sports. "I was confident."

City have now gone 35 matches unbeaten in all competitions (W29 D6), the longest run ever by a Premier League team, as Pep Guardiola's title-winning machine continues to power on.

It was a similar story as to the last campaign, when City edged past Arsenal for the top-flight crown once more, as Guardiola's team continue to deliver when the title run-in starts.

"It's like that every year," Haaland said of City's tendency to click into gear when the decisive part of the season arrives.

"It's like we add on a little bit extra because that's when it really matters. I'm happy and I can't complain."

Haaland managed 27 goals from 31 appearances this season, finishing five goals ahead of Chelsea attacking midfielder Cole Palmer, to secure consecutive Golden Boot awards in the Premier League.

On winning his second successive individual award, he added: "It's not bad. There's not much to say, it's better to just play football and don't speak too much. Let other people do the speaking and that's better.

"It's been harder than I expected [playing in the Premier League]. Every game, the way every game is not like a final but it's not far away.

"You come away somewhere or even at home you can't relax. Every game is so intense and tough."

As for working under Guardiola, Haaland is thankful for partnering with the Spaniard, whose six English top-flight titles can only be matched by Alex Ferguson (13), George Ramsay and Bob Paisley (both six).

"It's a bit demanding at times, it's tough but look what he's done," Haaland said of City's manager.

"He demands a lot every single day. If you don't live up to what he expects you have a big problem. He's demanding and he's a lovely guy and I love him to pieces."

Erling Haaland has won the Premier League Golden Boot for a second straight season.

Manchester City striker Haaland finished with 27 goals from 31 appearances this season, finishing five goals ahead of Chelsea attacking midfielder Cole Palmer, who emerged as a surprise contender after leaving the Etihad Stadium for Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

Haaland scored a single-season record 36 goals in his debut year in England and while he did not match those numbers this time around, he ultimately prevailed with a comprehensive five-goal advantage over Palmer.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak was in third place with 21 goals. There was a three-way tie for fourth place on 19 goals between Dominic Solanke, Phil Foden and Ollie Watkins.

Mohamed Salah (18 goals) and Son Heung-min (17) were also prominent high finishers, with Bukayo Saka and Jarrod Bowen joined on 16 by Jean-Philippe Mateta on the final day of the season when he netted a hat-trick in Crystal Palace's 5-0 win over Aston Villa.

While Haaland claims award glory, it was Foden (two) and Rodri who scored the goals as Man City beat West Ham 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday to secure a historic fourth successive Premier League trophy.

But Haaland's goals had been crucial to getting City into a title-winning position.

The 23-year-old started the season with a bang, scoring eight goals in his first six top-flight appearances, including a hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Fulham in early September.

While he battled an injury and a brief mid-season dip in form, doubles against Manchester United and Chelsea kept the Norway forward in contention.

And Haaland ultimately pulled away from his Golden Boot rivals in the closing stages of the campaign.

The striker scored four times in the 5-1 home win over Wolves this month to all but end the contest even before his pivotal double against Tottenham on Tuesday put Man City on the brink of title glory.

Haaland matches the likes of Harry Kane, Salah and Robin van Persie as players to win the Golden Boot in consecutive seasons.

Thierry Henry has won the most Golden Boot crowns with four, while Kane, Salah and Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer all have three apiece, with Haaland now just one behind that group.

The Playmaker of the Season award for the most Premier League assists went to Aston Villa striker Watkins.

As well as scoring his 19 goals, Watkins racked up 13 assists in a fine individual season, helping Villa to Champions League qualification.

He is the first Aston Villa player to win the award since it began in the 2017-18 season.

Watkins finished two assists ahead of Palmer (11), who comes second in both awards, while Kevin De Bruyne was part of a large group in a tie for third with 10 assists.

Man City's De Bruyne is a three-time winner and came close to topping the creative standings again despite missing much of the season through injury.

The Golden Glove winner is Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya, who finished with a final tally of 16 clean sheets.

He is the Gunners’ first winner of the award since Petr Cech also kept 16 clean sheets for the Gunners in the 2015-16 season. Wojciech Szczęsny is another former Arsenal winner.

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford was second to Raya with 13 shutouts.

Those two shot-stoppers did battle on the final day, as Arsenal won 2-1 against Everton, but it was not enough to stop the celebrations for Haaland and City.

Kevin De Bruyne insists the Manchester City players know the Premier League title race is not over, despite being in the driving seat with just one game left.

The Citizens beat Tottenham 2-0 on Tuesday in their game in hand over leaders Arsenal, leapfrogging them to the top of the table.

City will host West Ham on the final weekend and as long as Pep Guardiola’s side match Arsenal’s result against Everton, they will win an unprecedented fourth consecutive Premier League title.

De Bruyne has played down suggestions that City celebrated like they had already won the title following the victory.

"We were happy, obviously, because it gets in the place that we wanted to be on Sunday," he told Sky Sports. "I didn't feel like there were any extra celebrations.

"Obviously, you're happy to win the game, but we know it's not done yet.

"I know everybody's talking now saying it should be easy, but we're used to playing these couple of games against Brighton and Villa before and it's never easy. There's always the pressure of being in that situation, so I think it's quite normal."

City’s win over Tottenham makes them big favourites to win the title, with the Opta supercomputer giving them an 84.3 per cent chance of lifting the Premier League trophy once more.

During their victory at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, sections of the crowd cheered Erling Haaland’s opener by doing the Poznan, a celebration often used by the City fans, as the result shifted the title race out of their North London rivals' favour.

Asked if he had ever played in an environment like that before, De Bruyne added: "I think it's strange, but I didn't feel it from a players perspective.

"I have to say I thought Tottenham were really good, I think they played better than they did the weeks before.

"Fans are always a different thing, but I feel it's more feeding from outside, I never thought that from the players' or coaches' perspective, they would not come and give their best. That's the only thing we worry about."

Erling Haaland’s double and Stefan Ortega’s superb save saw Manchester City beat Tottenham 2-0 to ensure Pep Guardiola’s team head into the final day of the season leading the Premier League.

Haaland, who had opened the scoring with a tap-in in the 51st minute, slammed in a stoppage-time penalty to send the travelling City supporters into delirium at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

That spot-kick followed a wonderful save from substitute goalkeeper Ortega at the other end, who denied Son Heung-min a would-be equaliser on a bizarre night where the home support never truly managed to get fully behind their side, given what was at stake for their rivals Arsenal.

But with Haaland’s double, City – now on 88 points, two clear of Arsenal – are on the cusp of an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League title, while Spurs’ Champions League hopes are over.

Ederson was forced into action after just six minutes as Bentancur got on the end of Brennan Johnson’s cutback, with his strike from just outside the penalty area was tipped over by City’s goalkeeper.

The best chance of the half fell to Foden, who – in the 16th minute – latched onto a dismal clearance from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, but his close-range volley was superbly kept out by Vicario.

It took City less than two minutes to test Vicario once again after the break as he made an excellent diving save to palm away Kevin De Bruyne’s curling effort from the edge of the box.

But Vicario had no chance four minutes later – Haaland tapping into an empty net after latching onto De Bruyn’s drilled delivery.

Ederson had to be taken off after a nasty clash with Cristian Romero, and while City’s goalkeeper was frustrated, his stand-in Ortega turned in a fantastic cameo.

Having twice denied Dejan Kulusevski from close range, Ortega then stood up brilliantly when one-on-one with Son.

It is a save that might just win City the league – Haaland subsequently making sure of the points after Jeremy Doku was brought down by Pedro Porro, leaving the reigning champions, who face West Ham on Sunday, on the brink of glory again.

De Bruyne provides the spark but Ortega the unlikely hero

When City needed the breakthrough, it was no surprise to see De Bruyne provide it. The Belgian has now provided 10+ assists, the joint-most of any player in Premier League’s history, along with Cesc Fabregas.

De Bruyne has now assisted Haaland 12 times in the Premier League, the most from one player to another in the competition in the last two seasons.

Haaland, meanwhile, is the first City player to score a brace away to Spurs in the Premier League since Edin Dzeko in August 2011.

Yet for the efforts of the attackers, it was Ortega who came up huge with those massive stops, with that save from Son likely to go down in City folklore.

Spurs’ defensive woes continue

City only managed two shots in the opening 45 minutes – only against Aston Villa in December (two) have they had as few shots in the first half of a Premier League game this season.

Yet the hosts eventually came undone, meaning Ange Postecoglou’s team have conceded in each of their last 10 games in the Premier League, their longest run without a clean sheet in the competition since September-December 2019 (also 10).

After failing to secure the three points needed, Tottenham are now unable to catch Villa in fourth place, meaning Unai Emery’s team clinch the final Champions League spot. 

Pep Guardiola joked Manchester City have signed "the best winger on the planet" after defender Josko Gvardiol scored twice in Saturday's 4-0 thrashing of Fulham.

Centre-back Gvardiol once again operated at full-back on the left of City's four-man defence, finding the net in either half at Craven Cottage as Guardiola's side moved back to the Premier League summit.

His first came from a dancing run inside from Kevin De Bruyne's dinked pass before curling a well-taken right-footed finish into the bottom-left corner.

That passage of play may have been expected from City's attacking riches of Phil Foden, Erling Haaland or Bernardo Silva, though Gvardiol is becoming accustomed to starring at the other end of the pitch.

The Croatia international has netted five goals in his last seven games for City after not scoring in his first 32 matches across all competitions – but Guardiola is not surprised.

"The first goal, we signed the best winger on the planet," Guardiola jested with BBC Radio Manchester. "He's an incredible guy, can play in different positions.

"After Wolves I gave [the players] three days off, he was the only one who went to the training centre for his recovery.

"He lives for his profession. We have made an incredible signing for many, many years to come."

Foden also scored his 25th goal of the season for City, becoming just the second English player to score 25+ in a season for the club in the Premier League era (across all competitions), after Raheem Sterling in 2018-19 (25) and 2019-20 (31).

Julian Alvarez then wrapped up proceedings with a last-gasp penalty, taking the spot-kick from Gvardiol, who passed up the chance to score a hat-trick out of respect for his team-mate.

That domination ensured City will end the day in first place for just the eighth time in 2024 – overall, this will be the 72nd day they have ended in top spot this season, behind Liverpool (87) and Arsenal (74).

Guardiola's side are two points clear of Arsenal, who play Manchester United on Sunday, and still have a game in hand to come when visiting Tottenham on Tuesday.

The City manager told his post-match press conference: "Our dream is as we said a few weeks ago when [Arsenal] lost against Aston Villa was to arrive in the last games with it in our hands.

"We wanted to play West Ham at home with the destiny belonging to us."

Destiny remains in City's hands as they search for a sixth Premier League title in the last seven seasons.

While Pep Guardiola feels Rodri was deserving of a nomination for the Premier League's Player of the Season award, he expects the midfielder to shrug off that rejection and stay focused on the title race.

Rodri was surprisingly omitted from the eight-man shortlist for the league's top individual prize when it was revealed on Thursday, with team-mates Phil Foden and Erling Haaland making the cut.

That is despite the Spaniard playing a key role as City chase an unprecedented fourth straight league title, and three wins from their last three matches will ensure they edge out Arsenal to retain their crown.

Ahead of Saturday's trip to Fulham, where City have a chance to go top of the table before Arsenal face Manchester United on Sunday, Guardiola said there was no doubt over Rodri's importance.

"He has been one of the best. The nominated players deserve it, other players also deserve it. The winner of the trophy will deserve it, and the ones who don't will too," Guardiola said.

"We know what we think of the importance of him, how magnificent and extraordinary he is as a player. He should not be worried about it.

"When I won [Manager of the Season], it's because we won. It's because your team won a title, won games. The award is not for me – I didn't play one minute."

Fulham caused a stir earlier this week when their social media accounts posted a video of some players flying kites during a training session, sparking fears among Arsenal fans that the mid-table side may be 'on the beach'.

Boss Marco Silva, however, insists that is not the case, saying: "They had one moment after training. It's not even a case to be talked about.

"I have been asked, as we say in England, whether the players are going to be on the beach. It's not the case. If my players are a little bit relaxed, I am the first one to put some pressure on them."


Fulham – Rodrigo Muniz

Fulham's recent drop-off in form has coincided with the goals drying up somewhat for Muniz, who will be looking to return to form on Saturday.

He scored eight times in eight Premier League appearances through February and March but has since netted once in his last six – in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last time out at Craven Cottage.

Manchester City – Rodri 

Rodri has assisted six goals in his last eight Premier League appearances, including two last week against Wolves. 

City have not lost any of their last 47 Premier League games in which the Spaniard has featured, the fourth-longest unbeaten run any player has ever recorded in the competition.


City have won their last 15 meetings with Fulham in all competitions. It is the joint-longest winning run any team has ever managed against another in competitive English football history, with theCitizens also having 15-game sequences against Bournemouth and Watford.

Fulham have only won one of their previous 15 home Premier League games against City (five draws, nine defeats), winning 2-1 under Chris Coleman in November 2005.

They have also gone three home games without victory, drawing with Crystal Palace and losing to Newcastle United and Liverpool in what represents their worst run on home soil this season.

With City unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games (16 wins, four draws), it's difficult to see a surprise taking place on Saturday.

Guardiola's champions have been truly rampant in recent weeks, winning their last six league games while netting four or more goals in five of them – against Aston Villa (4-1), Palace (4-2), Luton Town (5-1), Brighton and Hove Albion (4-0) and Wolves (5-1).


Fulham – 15%

Manchester City – 61.7%

Draw – 23.3%

Erling Haaland blasted four goals past Wolves in a one-man Premier League show but the Manchester City forward says it would not be possible without manager Pep Guardiola or his team-mates.

The City talisman took his top-flight tally to 25 for this season, moving five clear of his nearest challenger in the Premier League Golden Boot race, after Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Wolves.

Haaland was twice on target from the penalty spot as part of his first-half hat-trick, adding another after the interval with an arrowed strike into the top-left corner.

It was the first time the Norway star has managed four goals in one Premier League game, with his quartet of strikes coming in 54 minutes. Only Gabriel Jesus has scored as many earlier in one match, doing so in 53 minutes against Watford in April 2022.

Haaland also became the third player to score multiple first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (also against Nottingham Forest last season), along with Andrew Cole and Michael Owen (two each).

Yet the superstar attacker says his exploits would not be possible without his City colleagues or boss Guardiola.

"I've got a not-too-bad manager who pushes me and look at the players around me," Haaland told Sky Sports when asked about his motivations.

"Without them, it would not be possible. Look ahead, look to next one – four finals left for the season. We're going to go for it and focus on Fulham."

It was Haaland's sixth Premier League hat-trick for City, with only seven players netting more in the competition’s history. All six of those trebles have been at the Etihad, only three have more at a single venue.

Haaland's second strike came from a towering header following Rodri's right-wing centre, which he suggested would delight his father Alfie.

"That's a beautiful goal," the Norwegian said of his headed finish. "My father is going to be happy with that one.

"A nice celebration, I enjoyed that one. I'm scoring more headers, I try to develop and keep going."

City are within a point of Premier League leaders Arsenal and Guardiola's side still have a game in hand against Tottenham on May 14.

Despite the thrashing of Wolves, Haaland insists Guardiola remains intent on winning the remaining games, rather than calculating the probabilities needed on goal difference.

"First of all it's about winning the games but, of course, you want to have the best possible goal difference," he added. "Let's not think about that. Think about Fulham."

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is "back to business" after his four-goal demolition of Wolves that kept Manchester City in touch of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The Gunner dispatched Bournemouth 3-0 earlier on Saturday but Haaland's first-half hat-trick – including two penalties – started a roaring response from City at Etihad Stadium.

Haaland added his fourth after the interval before Julian Alvarez wrapped up the scoring, with Hwang Hee-Chan's second-half strike a mere consolation in a 5-1 hammering of Wolves.

Victory extended Man City's unbeaten run in the Premier League to 20 games (W16 D4), while they have won each of the last six in a row, netting 4+ goals on five occasions in that run.

Moving just a point with Arsenal and still boasting a game in hand, Guardiola was relieved to see a firing return to form for Haaland, whose April was hampered by injury issues.

"It looks comfortable but it was not," the City manager told Sky Sports. "In the end we created more chances but in the transition we were not precise in the last pass.

"But Erling is back to business. Penalties are a guarantee but the second and fourth [goals] were unbelievable.

"The 20 minutes he [Haaland] played against Nottingham Forest was really good and today as well. We won, but it was so long an injury.

"It is welcome he arrived in the right moment, but we arrive together because Erling and Kevin [De Bruyne] have been out."

Having scored a hat-trick in this exact fixture last season, Haaland became just the third player to score a home treble against the same opponent in consecutive Premier League campaigns.

The Norway talisman also became the third player to score multiple first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (also against Forest last season), along with Andrew Cole and Michael Owen (two each).

Yet the City forward appeared somewhat annoyed with his late substitution for Alvarez.

"He's a little bit frustrated, but I understand," Guardiola added. "He was frustrated with the referee. With the long balls sometimes they push him and he is pulled. Yes, it is like that."

City will play their game in hand against Tottenham on May 14, with that their chance to move clear of Mikel Arteta's side.

Guardiola insists his team must win all their remaining fixtures to lift the top-flight trophy once more.

"Goal difference is not possible, we cannot draw," he added. "The way Arsenal have been playing has been so good and consistent.

"It's three games, hopefully we win the first and the second and arrive to the third with our destiny in our own hands."

Erling Haaland's four-goal haul ensured Manchester City continued their Premier League title charge with a 5-1 triumph over Wolves, as Pep Guardiola's team responded to Arsenal's victory earlier on Saturday in style.

Arsenal moved four points clear at the league summit with their 3-0 win over Bournemouth but Haaland eased any City nerves with his dominant first-half hat-trick at Etihad Stadium.

That quickfire treble included two penalties before Haaland added to his tally after the interval – following Hwang Hee-chan's consolation strike – to move to a competition-leading 25 goals this term.

Haaland’s replacement Julian Alvarez added further gloss late on, as City, who have a game in hand on Arsenal, cut the gap to the Gunners to just one point. Wolves remain 11th with just one win in their past eight league games.

City needed just 12 minutes to take the lead. Rayan Ait-Nouri conceded a penalty for an inadvertent collision with Josko Gvardiol, and Haaland made no mistake from the spot after a VAR review confirmed the on-field decision, sending Jose Sa the wrong way and sweeping into the bottom-left corner.

Sa was equal to Haaland shortly after, though, tipping away the striker's header following Bernardo Silva's right-wing centre – but the Wolves goalkeeper was powerless to prevent the Norwegian doubling his tally after 35 minutes, as Haaland climbed high to redirect Rodri’s back-post centre into the bottom-right corner.

And Haaland had his hat-trick when, on the stroke of half-time, he repeated the trick from 12 yards after he had drawn a clumsy challenge from Nelson Semedo, with the VAR having recommended an onfield review of the incident.

Wolves reduced the deficit eight minutes into the second half as Hwang fired into an empty net from Ederson's unconvincing punch, though City restored their three-goal advantage just a minute later.

Haaland latched onto Phil Foden's over-the-top pass before cutting inside and blasting an arrowed left-footed strike into the top-left corner for the finest of his four strikes.

There was time for City to increase their goal difference, too, as substitute Alvarez wrapped up the scoring after Rodri regained possession high before finding the Argentine, who angled a low effort across Sa.

Golden Boot within Haaland’s grasp

For every Arsenal victory, Guardiola's side continue to respond with three points of their own and still boast a game in hand away against Tottenham to move clear of the Gunners.

City are now unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games (W15 D4), becoming the second side to manage a streak of 20+ undefeated league matches on five separate occasions – after fierce rivals Manchester United (seven).

That is in large part thanks to Haaland, whose four goals came in just 54 minutes here. Only Gabriel Jesus has scored as many times earlier in a Premier League game, finding the net four times in 53 minutes against Watford in April 2022.

He is now five clear of his rivals in the hunt for the Premier League Golden Boot, and surely he has all but wrapped up that award now.

Frustration grows at Wolves

Gary O'Neil has regularly voiced his concerns over the depth of Wolves' squad, with his side suffering from numerous injury issues across a troubled season.

Matheus Cunha and Ait-Nouri – the latter who conceded the first penalty for an accidental collision with Gvardiol – returned to the starting XI from injury, but that did little to mask Wolves' problems.

Injuries have played their part in hampering O'Neil's tenure, though this clash was a stark reminder of their shortcomings – Wolves have now lost eight of their last nine Premier League visits to Man City.

Erling Haaland returned from injury to keep Manchester City’s title charge on track as Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 2-0 victory over relegation-battling Nottingham Forest.

Josko Gvardiol’s near-post header was all that separated the two sides at half-time as he fired City in front from a Kevin De Bruyne corner.

Forest were left to rue big opportunities missed in the opening 45 minutes, with Chris Wood and Murillo both having gilt-edged chances to find an equaliser at the City Ground.

But Guardiola, overseeing his 300th Premier League game as City boss, called upon Haaland in the second half, and the Norway international duly delivered to double City’s lead and nudge the reigning champions back to within a point of leaders Arsenal, who beat Tottenham earlier on Sunday.

It was almost a dream opening minute for Forest as Ola Aina’s floated cross to the back post was met by an unmarked Neco Williams, but he failed to connect properly with a close-range shot.

Forest were made to pay when City opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. De Bruyne’s excellent delivery found Gvardiol, who powered a header home at the front post.

Wood should have restored parity shortly after, as he found himself in acres of space when Gonzalo Montiel cut it back on the volley, but the ball got caught up in the striker’s feet with the goal at his mercy.

Forest went agonisingly close again on the stroke of half-time, with Ederson – who was subsequently taken off at the break – fortunate not to concede after he failed to deal with Callum Hudson-Odoi’s corner, but Murillo could not apply the finish a few yards out.

Wood saw another huge chance pass by early in the second half, but his close-range effort was blocked after some excellent work from Anthony Elanga down the left.

De Bruyne showed his creative spark once again as he slotted a throughball behind the Forest defence in the 63rd minute, but Julian Alvarez’s effort from the edge of the area flew into the stands behind the goal.

Matz Sels was called into action moments later, palming behind De Bruyne’s thunderous long-range strike, which was heading for the top-left corner.

But City’s second finally arrived when, in the 71st minute, De Bruyne teed up Haaland, who calmly got the better of his marker, shifted it onto his right foot and slotted into the bottom-left corner to end Forest’s hopes of a comeback.

While City remain hot on Arsenal’s heels, Forest stay just one point above the relegation zone, having lost three of their last four matches.

Guardiola – 300 not out

Sunday marked Guardiola’s 300th Premier League game in charge of Man City, seeing him become the 19th manager to reach this total, and just the fifth to do so for a single club.

Of the 300 games under the Spanish manager’s tutelage, City have won 221, scoring 741 goals in the process, while only conceding 247 times.

City now have a four-point lead over Liverpool, whose title hopes are fading quickly, and an unprecedented fourth straight Premier League crown is certainly on the cards for Guardiola.

Forest’s recurring issues show no sign of abating

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have now conceded 29 first-half goals in 35 league games this season, with only Sheffield United (38) and Burnley (30) having conceded more.

The Tricky Trees – who are one of three teams fighting for 17th place after Everton hauled themselves to safety over the past week – have also conceded 23 goals from set-pieces this term in the competition, at least five more than any other team.

Despite being behind at the break, Forest’s xG of 1.27 was the most by any side in the first half of a game against City this season, in all competitions, with a wastefulness in front of goal another glaring problem that Nuno must fix.

Phil Foden equalled the feats of Lionel Messi and Erling Haaland when he scored his 50th league goal as Manchester City stormed into a 3-0 lead against Brighton.

Foden scored twice in the first half at the Amex Stadium on Thursday, setting Pep Guardiola's team on the way to a potentially pivotal win in the Premier League title race.

The England international's first, which came after Kevin De Bruyne's excellent diving header, came as his free-kick deflected in off the unfortunate Pascal Gross.

It was that goal that marked Foden's 50th in league football, with all of those coming under Guardiola.

That makes Foden just the third player to score 50 league goals under Guardiola while aged 23 or younger, after City team-mate Haaland and Barcelona great Messi.

Foden netted his 51st Premier League goal soon after, drilling in after City capitalised on some slack Brighton play.

Manchester City will be without Erling Haaland when they take on Brighton, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Haaland missed Saturday's FA Cup semi-final victory over Chelsea with a muscular injury he sustained against Real Madrid last week.

And the issue will also see the striker, who has scored 20 Premier League goals this season, miss out against the Seagulls on Thursday.

"Erling is not ready for tomorrow," said Guardiola, who added that City will be able to call on Phil Foden and John Stones.

"It's not a big issue but he's not available."

Haaland has scored, on average, every 109 minutes in the league this season.

However, the Norwegian has actually underperformed his expected goals (xG) of 23.7.

He has also chipped in with five assists, giving him an overall goal contributions tally of 25. Haaland has created 28 goalscoring chances for team-mates across the campaign.

After Arsenal's 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea on Tuesday, reigning Premier League champions Manchester City sit four points off the summit in third place, albeit with two games in hand.

Second-place Liverpool will aim to move level on points with the Gunners by beating Merseyside rivals Everton on Wednesday.

Page 1 of 50
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.