Haaland Hits FA Cup Hat-trick As Man City Rout Burnley
Erling Haaland scored his second hat-trick in five days as Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup semi-finals by hammering Championship leaders Burnley at Etihad Stadium.
He is just two short of the record held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mohamed Salah for most goals in a season for an English top-flight club during the Premier League era.
Julian Alvarez added two goals and substitute Cole Palmer also scored on a sobering night for former City skipper Vincent Kompany, whose Burnley side have surged 13 points clear at the top of the Championship.
The Clarets did well in the first half but could not match Haaland’s staggering efficiency in front of goal.
City opened up in the second period though, underlining the chasm in class between England’s top two divisions.
“He is at the right place for his development because he is still very young,” said Burnley boss Kompany of Haaland. “He will get better – he has the right coach and the right mindset.
“I have played against the greats. They are part of a special elite. The very best find it difficult to stop these guys. They keep finding a way. He looks like a superstar who is willing to improve and that is exciting to see. The goalscoring record puts you in a certain bracket – it is the hardest part of the game.”
It will be City’s sixth semi-final appearance in seven seasons under Pep Guardiola, and on this form few will argue against them lifting the trophy for only the second time in that period as they retain hopes of completing the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
The draw for the FA Cup semi-finals takes place on Sunday following Brighton’s tie against Grimsby Town (14:15 GMT), live on BBC One.Haaland now has an incredible six hat-tricks in his debut season in English football – already half as many as brilliant Argentine Sergio Aguero scored in his ten-year City career.
Considering City would play another 18 games if they reach both the FA Cup and Champions League finals, it is not beyond the realms of possibility the Norwegian will finish the campaign with about 60 goals, which has never come close to being achieved in modern times.
The problem for defences is he has so many attributes.
“Haaland is a beast,” said Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer on Match of the Day. “He is a goalscoring machine. He lives and breathes goals.
“If he doesn’t score he doesn’t sleep at night. He wants another one, then another one, then another one.
“He’s fantastic, and this team must be a dream with the chances they create. He might get 50 goals, maybe even 60. It’s bonkers.”His first goal owed much to his strength as goalkeeper Stefan Ortega lofted a long ball downfield. Haaland had the strength to hold off Ameen Al-Dakhil, then steered the ball back to Julian Alvarez who delivered a superb pass through the Burnley defence. Clarets keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell left his line believing he could get to the ball first.
He soon discovered Haaland is also exceptionally quick. The Norwegian beat him to it and prodded a first-time effort under the keeper.
Three minutes later Haaland had his second.
This time, Phil Foden delivered a low cross, which the Norwegian had the intelligence to lift over Peacock-Farrell into the net.
His hat-trick goal was about being in the right place at the right time as Foden’s shot bounced back off the post as Haaland lengthened his stride to apply a first-time finish.
If there is a complaint, it is that Haaland is scoring too quickly. For the second game running Guardiola took him off with just over an hour played.
“This guy will have a problem in the future – every game he will be expected to score three or four goals and this is not going to happen,” said Guardiola.
“He doesn’t care because he is so positive, so optimistic, never complains. The target numbers, I don’t know. But if we play good, Erling will score goals.”Losing at Manchester City is not a new experience for Burnley – they have never won at Etihad Stadium and their last victory at Maine Road came in 1963.
For Kompany it must have been a strange experience, given he enjoyed so many memorable moments here and even has a statue outside the ground.
He received a standing ovation when his name was read out before kick-off, with even Guardiola joining the applause.
Once the whistle went, Kompany, in his distinctive cap ordered, cajoled and encouraged his team.
He showed flashes of irritation when attacking moves were not carried out to his satisfaction, but he also offered praise when Burnley threatened, which they did sporadically, especially in the period before Haaland scored the opener.
At the end Kompany shook hands with all the City players who were his team-mates not that long ago.
He stood with fellow Belgian Kevin de Bruyne for a quiet word, possibly congratulating him for the superb pass that released Alvarez for his second, having already laid his first on a plate with a precise cross.
Kompany knows his side come up against nothing like that quality in the Championship, but it does seem likely he will be back next season – when he hopes some harsh lessons from today will have been learned.