Erling Haaland can completely make a difference for Man City in this Real Madrid rematch.
In the semi-finals of the Champions League, the lucky draw once again brought Real Madrid to face Man City. All reminiscent of the true Super Classic, also in the Champions League semi-finals last season. There, all the craziest, most dramatic things happened.
The first leg in England, in less than two minutes, Kevin de Bruyne headed to help Man City take the lead, and Gabriel Jesus doubled the lead in the 11th minute. Man City ended up winning 4-3.
However, Real Madrid had an unbelievable comeback in the last minutes of the second leg to win 3-1, thereby gaining the right to continue with a total score of 6-5. This is really a big pain for The Citizens. However, experts say that this meeting will be different when Man City owns Erling Haaland in the squad.
The Norwegian striker achieved impressive performance under Pep Guardiola. Haaland has broken the records for the most goals scored in a Premier League season and the most goals touched by a Man City player in a season. Since joining the English team, Haaland has scored 51 goals in 46 games.
“Haaland is an incredible guy and a great talent. He has the strength, the mentality and he is the real winner,” said Guardiola after Haaland scored five goals against RB Leipzig in the round of 16.
The former Dortmund player’s scoring ability is especially impressive when compared to the expected number of goals (xG) in the Premier League this season. Haaland’s 35 goals came with just 26.1 xG. This means he has about 9 more goals scored than a striker can score from similar opportunities.
The previous Premier League scoring record was 34, shared by Alan Shearer and Andrew Cole. However, it comes at a time when there are 42 games in a Premier League season. In other words, Haaland broke this record by going through about 10 matches less.
While defensive certainty will be crucial for City against Real Madrid, Haaland’s stellar goal-scoring ability certainly gives Guardiola’s side a huge advantage.
Last year, Real Madrid could be crowned champion thanks to the talent of Karim Benzema with 15 goals in the Champions League, including 10 in the knockout stages. The Frenchman scored key goals throughout Los Blancos’ title-winning run and deserves a Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
If he can score Man City to win the Champions League, Haaland will certainly be a bright candidate for the Golden Ball title this year. History waits to call Haaland’s name at the end of this season.