Erling Haaland did it again. Manchester City beat Southampton 4-1 to close the gap on Arsenal to five points, with the Gunners’ game against Liverpool on Sunday still to come, but the spotlight was once again on the Norwegian striker who is breaking new ground in his first season in English football.
Against Southampton, City’s comfortable win began to take shape in Erling’s head. After missing several chances in the first half, Haaland made no mistake as the game headed towards the break. De Bruyne crossed from the left flank and the former Dortmund man beat the defense to head home from the edge of the area to put City ahead.
With that assist, De Bruyne reached 100 Premier League assists, only the fifth player in history to do so. The Sky Blue midfielder was also the quickest to reach that milestone, he needed just 237 games to reach the hundred mark. By comparison, Cesc Fabregas was the second quickest to reach the century mark… with 293.
The Norwegian show
After the break, Jack Grealish extended the lead to 2-0. 10 minutes later, Grealish himself launched a through ball into the box and Haaland adjusted his body expertly to score with a spectacular scissor kick. It was a goal he celebrated with his own trademark celebration, and with good reason. His scissor kick was his 30th Premier League goal this season, in just 27 games.
After the goal, Pep Guardiola elected to rest his superhuman forward. He was coming back from an injury and on Tuesday they play the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich.
Julian Alvarez replaced him and scored the penalty that put the final score at 4-1 after Sekou Mara’s goal had cut the gap on the scoreboard.