'Incredible' Erling Haaland fires Man City to Champions League victory at Young Boys

Norwegian striker scores twice in 3-1 win to extend City's perfect start to their title defence

Erling Haaland scored twice for Manchester City at Young Boys, taking his Champions League tally to 37 goals. Reuters
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Pep Guardiola described Erling Haaland as an "incredible professional" after the Norwegian striker scored twice in Manchester City's 3-1 Champions League win at Young Boys on Wednesday night.

City maintained their 100 per cent winning record in Group G with three victories, despite their pre-game concerns about playing on the slick artificial turf at rain-lashed Wankdorf Stadium. The defending champions can clinch their spot in the knockout stage when they play Young Boys again, this time at home, on November 7.

After Manuel Akanji's opener for City early in the second half had been cancelled out by Meschack Elia minutes later, Haaland restored City's lead with his first goal in six Champions League games with a penalty in the 67th minute after Mohamed Camara's tackle on Rodri in the box.

City's goal-scoring machine added a fabulous second goal when he moved the ball from his left foot to his right before firing it into the top corner in the 86th.

Haaland, who rewrote several scoring records last season, added another one on Wednesday, breaking Kylian Mbappe's mark as the youngest player to score 37 Champions League goals. The Norwegian striker, who is 23 years and 96 days old, did it in 33 games.

"[Haaland] has the pressure from what happened last season. Not just last season," Guardiola said. "He has to score seven goals every single game and it is impossible.

"He is happy. He scored a lot of goals. People want him to fail after scoring 52 goals.

"Maybe in the right moment of the season, he will be there even better than now. In the Champions League again he is there.

"We are really pleased he is a guy with hunger. He is so humble. He is an incredible professional. He is a great competitor."

While reserving special praise for Haaland, Guardiola was also pleased with the entire team.

"The result is good. Nine out of nine," he said. "Our positional game was exceptional. We talk about short passes on artificial pitches and long passes is more difficult to control it.

"We had chances but in general it was a really really good game. Very pleased for the performance. We could have scored more goals but it’s important to create the chances."

City are next in action in the Premier League on Sunday for a blockbuster derby match against local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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Updated: October 26, 2023, 5:26 AM