Champions League: Erling Haaland scores twice as Man City dominates, but Guardiola waives the release clause

After some outstanding work from Joao Cancello, Haaland scored after just seven minutes, blasting a first-time shot past Grabara.

Erling Haaland’s most recent two-goal performance in the Champions League forced Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to dispel rumors that the striker from Norway was already considering leaving the team.

In Wednesday’s 5-0 victory against Copenhagen, the striker increased his season total to 19 goals in 12 games. According to rumors coming out of Spain, the striker’s contract with Manchester City has a release clause that would allow him to join Real Madrid in 2024.

It’s not true, according to Guardiola. He has no release clause for Real Madrid or any other team, according to the statement. What I can say is that that is not true. He seems to be really content here, in my opinion.

The competition to recruit Haaland, pursued by a number of Europe’s top clubs, was won by City, who acquired him from Borussia Dortmund for $63 million.

Nevertheless, a future transfer to the Bernabeu is viewed as a possibility, and since his transfer to the Etihad, much has been made of a release clause.

In the end, who can predict what will happen in the future, said Guardiola. The most essential thing is that he is content, that he has everything under control, and that everyone adores him greatly.

Guardiola resisted the temptation to rest the Norway international in a game City were expected to win easily, and Haaland duly responded with two goals inside 32 minutes.

Only the dexterity of Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara and his manager’s decision to remove him at halftime prevented him from scoring a second consecutive hat trick.

It was a show of restraint as well as mercy.

Because the Catalan coach seems to be currently taking the most pleasure possible from Haaland’s masterpiece.

As the 22-year-old tapped in his second goal, his expression was priceless.

There appeared to be an acknowledgment that this is nearly unfair as he turned to face the crowd and gleefully rubbed his palms together.

Haaland is overly enormous, overly strong, overly quick, and overly cold.

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted, “It’s starting to get crazy.” Making scoring goals seem stupidly simple.

This mismatch was the most recent one, as Copenhagen’s inept defenders missed Haaland’s movements. They are in good company since Bournemouth is the only team that has managed to contain him this year.

“Honestly, it’s unbelievable. Jack Grealish, a City midfielder, remarked of Haaland, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. “I was giggling during the first and second goals. He is constantly there.

“As I walked back, the keeper muttered something to me. He declared, “He is not human!” You’re telling me? I questioned. I hope he can maintain this shape and lead us to glory.

That is the uncertainty threatening Haaland. Can he lead City to its first Champions League victory at last?

Despite leading incredibly great teams at Bayern Munich and City since he won the championship for the second time with Barcelona in 2011, Guardiola has yet to win Europe without Lionel Messi.

The closest he has come is when he lost to Chelsea in the 2021 championship game.

But he has possibly found the most dreadful attacking threat in all of football in Haaland. And even though he might not have Messi’s exceptional technical skills, he is proven to be an unstoppable match-winner to rival the Argentina legend.

In a 6-3 victory over Manchester United on Sunday, he scored three goals, and against Copenhagen, he appeared on track to score his fourth hat trick of the year.

Guardiola chose to withdraw him, and City went on to annihilate the Danish champion without him.

After Marko Stamenic took down Aymeric Laporte 10 minutes into the second half, Riyad Mahrez scored from the penalty spot.

Jack Grealish twice came near either side of the half as City could have and should have added more goals, but Julian Alvarez made it 5-0 in the 76th minute by turning in a pass from Mahrez.

After some outstanding work from Joao Cancello, Haaland scored after just seven minutes, blasting a first-time shot past Grabara.

In the 32nd minute, he extended the advantage by tapping into an empty goal after Grabara parried an attempt from Sergio Gomez.

Six minutes before halftime, City made it 3-0, and it appeared like Haaland had completed his hat trick. However, David Khocholava of Copenhagen blocked Gomez’s shot just as the striker was about to pounce.

Jacob Neestrup, the coach of Copenhagen, admitted that his club couldn’t stop a player of Haaland’s talent.

He’s a top-notch striker, but we were ready, the man remarked. “I witnessed the goals. The second goal was a shot, and you can see how he moves when the ball is coming his way and how he catches the rebound like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

He is simply a top-tier athlete.

After beating Sevilla 4-1, City maintained its perfect record in Group G, leading Borussia Dortmund by three points. If they win in Copenhagen the following week, they will advance to the round of 16.


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