Manchester City eased into the Champions League quarter-finals with a resounding 7-0 demolition of RB Leipzig.
Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan got their names on the scoresheet as City completed an 8-1 aggregate victory over the German side. But the magnificent Erling Haaland stole the show with five goals on the night.
The Norwegian became the youngest and fastest player to reach 30 Champions League goals at 22 years.
Haaland breaks record as Man City progress in style 👏#UCL pic.twitter.com/H84NV9T1ba
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 14, 2023
Haaland would seal the record after hitting his first two goals, netting his 30th goal in the competition, aged 22 years and 236 days.
The additional three goals made him only the third player to score five in a single Champions League fixture - following Lionel Messi for Barcelona in 2012 and Luiz Adriano for Shakhtar Donetsk in 2014 - taking his overall tally to an astonishing 33 in 25 games.
The records do not stop there, however, as he also became the most prolific goalscorer in a single season for the Cityzens, eclipsing the previous record of 38 set by Tommy Johnson nearly 100 years ago.
Erling Haaland has now scored 1.9% of all Man City goals in PL & CL history
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) March 14, 2023
Focusing on the game and the home side dictated the early tempo, with the threat coming from Haaland, Gundogan and record-breaking signing Jack Grealish.
Despite the expected dominance of the reigning Premier League champions, they broke the deadlock with a questionable referring decision - a contentious penalty following yet another VAR review.
We’ve lost the plot if that’s a pen
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) March 14, 2023
The Norwegian found the back of the net from the resulting spot-kick and doubled his tally a moment later, creating havoc in the German's defence before heading home a rebound from a De Bruyne shot that rattled the woodwork.
Leipzig did their best to reduce the deficit but were again left feeling disgruntled after another controversial call. City goalkeeper Ederson appeared to bring down Konrad Laimer well outside his area. To the bewilderment of the commentators, the City keeper escaped punishment, and the away support vented their frustrations.
Haaland solidified his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time after a Ruben Dias header struck the post and rolled across the line. Amadou Haidara attempted to clear, but the ball bounced off Haaland’s legs and crept into the net.
It's what he does.
🔵 3-0 ⚫️ #ManCity pic.twitter.com/PX8o4hgIgl
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 14, 2023
It went from bad to worse for the visitors in the second half as Haaland would add two more. Manager Pep Guardiola is known for his controversial calls, and his decision to substitute the star striker when on the verge of a double-hattrick was met with some confusion across the ground.
Despite this, he would leave the field to an echo of cheers and applause, with the remainder of Europe looking on with some concern.
Gundogan and De Bruyne would solidify the rout with additional goals, marking the most unsavoury of nights for Marco Rose and his men.