Manchester: Manchester City pulled off a seven-star performance against RB Leipzig in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Five goals from Erling Haaland and a goal each from Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne sealed a comfortable victory against the German side.
Throughout 90 minutes RB Leipzig barely had a sniff at the City goal, Ederson Manchester City's goalkeeper had hardly anything to do for the majority of the game. He spent most of the game alone isolated in the boundaries of the box.
The hosts sealed the game in the first half of the game. The second half was just a reminder of the attacking prowess they possess and can use against any team at any point of time. The Norwegian 22-year-old goal machine was the game-changer for the Blues. His natural striker instinct played a key role in all of his goals. Haaland was like a magnet, pulling the ball towards him and dispatching the ball with his left foot to score goals. His first goal came through a penalty in the 22nd minute of the game.
Within a blink of an eye, Haaland struck again to double the lead. On the break, De Bruyne produced a shot filled with venom right from the outskirts of the box. The ball went on to hit the post, and Haaland was at the right place and at the right time to head in the ball for the second goal. His next three goals also came in a similar fashion. Even if the goalkeeper pulled off an incredible save Haaland was there to punish the keeper.
Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola hailed the performance of his sensational striker. While talking in the post-match conference Guardiola said, "Five goals, what can I say?" Guardiola said. "I said many times, he's a joyful guy. His mood in the locker room is always happiness. He is a gift to all of us. He is a huge competitor, his mentality is there. He scored five goals which is not easy. Haaland has five hat-tricks already this season and his 39 goals have come from just 36 matches."
"But as well as his goals, Guardiola praised the striker for his all-round performance and says he was more involved than in recent games. Today he scored five goals and I think he made 30-35 ball contacts and this is what we are looking for. I had the feeling when you are involved in the game offensively, defensively, when the ball comes to score a goal, you are more clever, more precise, you are in the game," he added.
The remaining two goals were pinpoint accurate finishes from Manchester City skipper Gundogan and De Bruyne. In the opening 5 minutes of the second half, Gundogan created some space for himself and sent the ball right into the bottom right corner. While De Bruyne finished off the game with a banger in the final moments of the game silencing the critics.
In the end, Manchester City booked their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League which will be played on 11 and 12 April.