Erling Haaland: 'Keano' chants motivated me in Manchester derby

Norwegian striker celebrated in front of taunting United fans as two-goal salvo helps City to 3-0 win against United

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Manchester City goal hero Erling Haaland revealed how chants of "Keano" from Manchester United fans motivated him during his side’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The chants were almost certainly a reference to the history between Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge Haaland, and former United captain Roy Keane, who was sent off for a foul on Haaland senior in the Manchester derby in 2001.

The feud between the pair began years earlier when Haaland, then at Leeds United, stood over an injured Keane believing the United midfielder had faked an injury when in fact the Irishman had ruptured his ACL.

Asked about his effusive reaction to scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot, Erling Haaland told BBC Sport: “There were so many people singing ‘Keano’, I don’t know why, but I used it as motivation and gave them a good celebration.”

Haaland doubled City’s lead with a header early in the second half before setting up Phil Foden for the third. The England forward dropped to his knees and slid toward the away fans as he completed the scoring in the 191st Manchester derby.

Manchester United supporters just headed for the exit at Old Trafford.

This was another one-sided encounter between the city rivals, which only confirmed the ongoing dominance of Pep Guardiola's defending Premier League champions.

“It looks easy but it is not. It really, really is not,” said Guardiola. “[I have] a lot of respect for United for what they do, but we were at our best, especially in the second half.”

Erik ten Hag was supposed to close the gap between the teams when hired by United in 2022, but after a humbling derby loss, it feels as though the distance is widening.

United have lost seven games in all competitions this season, with this latest defeat leaving them eight points off the Champions League places.

Ten Hag, however, tried to offer words of optimism to fans who have repeatedly booed during home games this season and jeered his decision to substitute striker Rasmus Hojlund in the second half against City.

“I think we are on the way up, the start was difficult but now we are on the way up,” said the Dutch coach. “When injuries are getting back we will be getting stronger. We have to be patient, but I am happy with some injuries coming back and then our side will be stronger.”

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Updated: October 30, 2023, 11:39 AM