Haaland breaks new ground for Man City as blistering start continues
Erling Haaland had already exceeded expectations since arriving at Manchester City yet he managed to endear himself to his new club even more with his third consecutive home Premier League hat-trick in the 6-3 drubbing of Manchester United on Sunday (October 2),
In another remarkable display, Haaland also contributed two assists for Phil Foden, who struck a treble as well.
The Norwegian's goal haul moved him on to 14 strikes in eight Premier League games, double the amount of the league's second-top scorer Harry Kane.
He also destroyed another Premier League record by becoming the fastest player in England's top-flight to score three hat-tricks in only eight matches. The previous record holder was Michael Owen, who needed 48 games to reach the milestone for Liverpool.
City manager Pep Guardiola was not surprised by Haaland's latest tour de force, highlighting his insatiable scoring record with previous sides Molde, RB Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund as well as City, firing 152 goals since turning professional in 2016.
He took no credit for the way the striker has started his career with City, instead pointing to the genes he was blessed with from his mother Gry Marita Braut, a heptathlete, and his father, the former City and Norway midfielder Alfie Haaland.
"I said many times what he is doing this season he had done in Norway, Austria, Germany, that is a reality. The quality we have helps him but I didn't teach him what he has done," Guardiola said.
"Having incredible instinct and sense comes from his mum and dad, he was born with that, we just help him by producing more balls for him."
Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said a lack of belief was the reason his side capitulated so badly against their local rivals.
"We lacked belief from the start," Ten Hag said. "In the last five games we had a strong belief, today it was the other way around.
"We are not defending front foot and we let them play. In possession we were not brave enough, made mistakes and bad decisions, then you get hammered.
"There are never excuses in top football, you have to bring results, but it is normal in our process we will have setbacks. We just have to learn from it."
Ten Hag also explained why substitute Anthony Martial was the man he turned to in the second half to try and get United back in the match, rather than Cristiano Ronaldo, and why big-money signing Casemiro was again overlooked for a starting spot.
"I wouldn't bring him [Ronaldo] in out of respect for his big career," Ten Hag added. "Anthony Martial needed the minutes and he scored two goals.
"When we signed him [Casemiro] we started to win. It is about the team, and the team was doing really well.
"Scott McTominay has been performing well, but I am sure Casemiro will be important for us in the long run, and find himself in the team in the short term. That will come in a natural way."