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Haaland's five-star display propels Manchester City to FA Cup quarterfinals

Posted : 28 February 2024

Erling Haaland delivered a powerful message to Manchester City's rivals by scoring five goals in their dominant 6-2 FA Cup victory over Luton Town, asserting that he is back to his best form. After recovering from a foot injury that kept him sidelined for over a month, Haaland had previously netted only three goals in seven appearances. However, his impressive first-half hat trick and two additional goals in the second half showcased a return to his prolific peak, as City comfortably advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals.


Haaland's remarkable performance marked the first time a top-flight player scored five goals in an FA Cup match since George Best accomplished the feat for Manchester United in 1970. Speaking after the game, Haaland expressed his satisfaction, stating, "I am getting back to my best. Finally, I am feeling good. It's an amazing feeling. It's coming, we're coming. Exciting times ahead. We are ready to attack."


This was the second instance of Haaland scoring five goals in a game within a season and a half with City, having previously done so in the 7-0 triumph against RB Leipzig in the Champions League last year. The 23-year-old has now accumulated an impressive 79 goals in 83 appearances for Manchester City across all competitions. Haaland highlighted the synergy with Kevin De Bruyne, who provided assists for four of his goals, emphasizing the understanding they share on the pitch.


Manager Pep Guardiola praised the dynamic connection between Haaland and De Bruyne, acknowledging the significance of their partnership. Haaland's stellar performance, combined with City's recent form, has fueled optimism that the team can replicate last season's trophy haul of the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. Guardiola commended Haaland's form, stating, "Erling was on fire, and Kevin was perfect. The connection they have. Erling needs a player like Kevin, and Kevin needs a player like Erling."


With Mateo Kovacic also finding the net for City, the holders remain unbeaten in 18 games across all competitions. After a relatively slow start to the season, City is now just one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool and has a favorable position in the Champions League, holding a 3-1 advantage from the first leg of their round-of-16 tie against FC Copenhagen. Guardiola's side faces local rivals Manchester United on Sunday before the second leg on March 6.


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