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Luton Town 2-6 Manchester City: ‘Machine’ Erling Haaland sends ominous message to rivals

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Luton Town 2-6 Manchester City: ‘Machine’ Erling Haaland sends ominous message to rivals

Erling Haaland delivered an emphatic and ominous warning to Manchester City’s rivals after scoring five goals in their 6-2 win at Luton in the FA Cup.

The Norway striker, 23, made history as the first City player to score five in a game more than once as Pep Guardiola’s side progressed to the last eight.

Haaland recently returned after two months out with a foot injury and, having taken time to work his way back to full fitness, he said he is ready to spearhead another City push for a treble.

Having achieved the feat last season, City are one point behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League and hold a 3-1 lead going into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Copenhagen.

“It’s coming, we’re coming,” Haaland told ITV.

“My fitness? I am getting back to my best. Finally I am feeling good. It’s an amazing feeling. Exciting times ahead. We are ready to attack.”

The former Borussia Dortmund forward certainly looked close to his top level as he tormented the Luton defence at Kenilworth Road with a combination of his physical prowess, elite movement and ruthless finishing proving to be far too much for Rob Edwards’ team to handle.

Haaland has broken countless records since arriving at Etihad Stadium in the summer of 2022 and has scored 30 more goals in all competitions than any other Premier League player since then, despite his absence this season.

“This is world class from Haaland, world class,” former Manchester United captain Roy Keane said on ITV.

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“He is prolific, making great runs, a natural scorer, great attitude. He is a machine.”

Record-breaking Haaland

Haaland is the first player to score five or more for a top-flight club in the FA Cup since George Best v Northampton in 1970.He is the first player to score five goals in a match twice for Man City.Haaland is the first player to score at least five goals in an FA Cup tie (first round onwards) since Duane Darby for Hull City against Whitby in a first-round replay in November 1996 (Darby scored six). This is the second time Haaland has scored five goals in a game in his senior career, previously doing so for City against RB Leipzig in the Champions League in March 2023. Since his debut for City in July 2022, Haaland has scored 79 goals in 83 games in all comps, 30 more than any other Premier League player in the that time (Salah 49).

‘The connection was perfect’

Four of Haaland’s five goals at Luton were assisted by Kevin De Bruyne as the duo again showed why they are one of the most fearsome partnerships in world football.

De Bruyne has now assisted 16 of Haaland’s 79 goals for City and is the first Premier League player to provide four assists for a teammate in a game in all competitions since Harry Kane for Son Heung-min for Tottenham against Southampton in September 2020.

“Erling is on fire and Kevin… the connection was perfect,” Guardiola said after the match. “Kevin needs players like Erling and Erling needs players like Kevin.

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“Erling needs a guy with the vision, the quality, the generosity. Kevin is the less selfish player in front of goal. Kevin needs the movement from Erling. We know how aggressive they are.”

It is now nine assists in his past five FA Cup games for De Bruyne, one more than he managed in his first 23 appearances for City in the competition.

“Kevin de Bruyne is massive. He is doing what he is best at. It’s a pleasure playing with him,” Haaland said.

“We know what we both want from each other. It clicks well. He is a smart player and I like to play with him.”

Next up for City is a Premier League derby against Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday, and with two of their star men hitting their stride it could hardly come at a better time for the hosts.

“De Bruyne and Haaland are telepathic,” Keane said. “They make it look simple but they are world-class players.

“The players and the manager smell it. This is big stuff, the players have done it before.

“Haaland and De Bruyne will be fresh mentally. Liverpool and Arsenal getting a lot of headlines, but I still think Man City will take some stopping.”

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