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Haaland scores five as Man City thrash Luton 

Sports Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2024-02-28 10:23:44
Haaland scores five as Man City thrash Luton  photo collected

Erling Haaland scored five in a stunning display of finishing as holders Manchester City thrashed Luton to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

It was the Norwegian's eighth hat-trick for City and he also became the first player to score five in a game twice for the club.

City opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Kevin de Bruyne, who assisted the first four goals, was allowed time and space to cut the ball back for Haaland to convert.

The pair combined again 15 minutes later, with Haaland running on to a through ball before powering it past Luton goalkeeper Tim Krul and it was a similar move that brought the third, only this time with a delicate dink to finish.

Jordan Clark pulled one back for Luton with a stunning strike, curled beautifully into the top corner from 25 yards on the stroke of half-time and gave Rob Edwards' side hope of a memorable comeback with a thumping finish seven minutes into the second half.

However, Pep Guardiola's team soon dashed those hopes when De Bruyne squared for Haaland to tap into an empty net after a superb pass from Kyle Walker had sent the Belgium midfielder clear.

Haaland got his fifth - matching his effort against RB Leipzig in last season's Champions League last 16 - when his low shot went straight through Krul, who then saw a long-range strike from Mateo Kovacic flash past him for the visitors' sixth.

‘We are coming’ – ‘machine’ Haaland predicts ‘exciting times’
Luton had opportunities in the second half with Stefan Ortega, starting in place of Ederson for City, forced into action a number of times. City might easily have added to their lead at the other end but once Haaland was replaced with 15 minutes to go, there was not the same ruthlessness and the hosts were spared any further punishment.

The one sour note for City was an injury to Jack Grealish, who was forced off late in the first half, but they are now unbeaten in 18 games and remain in pursuit a second consecutive treble.

De Bruyne dazzles but Haaland takes the headlines
There was some surprise at the strength of the City XI before the game but Guardiola's decision was rewarded with a clinical showing from his side.

De Bruyne was brought back in and it quickly became evident that he was in the mood.

That there might even be the slightest debate over the man of the match when Haaland scored five seems absurd but De Bruyne's performance, especially in the first half, was such that the debate was warranted.

Luton simply could not live with his sheer athleticism. The 32-year-old overwhelmed them time and again with his pace and power. Add in his game intelligence and technical brilliance and the effect was devastating.

Of course, it was made all the more destructive by a masterful striking performance from Haaland.

Luton centre-back Teden Mengi did all he could to make life hard for the former Borussia Dortmund striker but Haaland had the power to deal with the defender's presence as well as the movement and timing of runs to leave the defender trailing.

Once presented with the chances - and De Bruyne made sure he was - the outcome was never in doubt.

It is now 79 goals in 83 games for Haaland since moving to the Etihad Stadium and, with him in this kind of form, things are starting to look ominous for City's challengers on all three fronts.

Source: BBC

BDST: 1020 HRS, FEB 28, 2024
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