His dad’s lasagne did the trick yet again as Erling Haaland helped serve up another goal feast for Manchester City.
His old man Alfie revealed after Haaland’s hat-trick against Manchester City in Sunday’s demolition derby that he cooks him lasagne before every home match. He tweeted a picture of the night’s tasty offering before kick-off and it worked its magic as Haaland devoured it and then Copenhagen in a thumping 5-0 win.
Haaland probably would have dished up a fourth hat-trick in five home games, but spoilsport Pep Guardiola took him off at half-time with the game won. Haaland’s goalscoring statistics are simply ridiculous and his double took his haul for the Blues to 19 in just 11 games.
He also has 28 goals in 22 Champions League games and is well on course to smash Kylian Mbappe’s record to become the youngest player to net 30 times in the competition. No-one has scored this many goals after this number of games in the Champions League. Not Cristiano Ronaldo, not Lionel Messi, no-one.
Haaland’s goals have propelled City to within touching distance of the last 16 and they can make sure in Tuesday’s return fixture in Copenhagen. This was as routine a 5-0 win as is possible and it was achieved with the minimum of fuss.
Guardiola saw much to please him and Aymeric Laporte came through his first start since his knee operation in the summer unscathed, winning the spot-kick for City’s fourth. Riyad Mahrez converted it to open his account for the season before setting up the fifth and answer Guardiola, who had challenged him to improve.
Guardiola was also able to bring on teenagers Rico Lewis and Joshua Wilson-Esbrand for their third and second appearances respectively. Haaland began this latest City rout after seven minutes when he swept home Joao Cancelo’s cross with his right foot.
What a game for Copenhagen’s former Liverpool goalkeeper Kamil Grabara to make his comeback in after busting his face in July. The Pole, who wore a protective mask, was beaten when Bernardo Silva shot against the post from Jack Grealish’s pass before he vainly tried to deny City single-handedly.
Grabara saved from Ilkay Gundogan, Haaland and Grealish twice before he was beaten again on 32 minutes when he parried Sergio Gomez’s volley and the Norway hitman tapped home the rebound. Guardiola loved what he was seeing from Haaland and he turned and laughed to his bench as he gestured with his thumb over his shoulder towards his star striker.
Copenhagen didn’t know what had hit them and they scored City’s third for them seven minutes later when Gomez’s drive was deflected home first off Denis Vavro and then David Khocholava. Guardiola took pity on the Danish champions and took off Haaland to bring on Cole Palmer.
That was some relief to Copenhagen, who bore the dazed look of someone who had just been smacked in the face by Tyson Fury, although Palmer did force another save from Grabara. Copenhagen’s agony was not over and Marko Stamenic bundled over Laporte in the box for Mahrez to score from the spot to make it 4-0 on 55 minutes.
City sealed victory in the 76th minute with a sweeping attack began by Ederson and Mahrez teed up Julian Alvarez to score.