A stunning five-goal haul from Erling Haaland on Tuesday sealed a place in the Champions League quarter-finals for Manchester City.
The Norwegian striker was again the star of the show, as Manchester City, now 7/4 To Win The Champions League this season, hammered RB Leipzig 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium, to clinch an 8-1 aggregate victory.
It’s now 38 goals across all club competitions for Haaland this season and the 22-year-old is on course to break a number of individual goalscoring records.
But it’s team success which is the main focus for Pep Guardiola, as City continue on their push for trophies on three fronts.
|What||Champions League Outright|
|Where||Final - Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul|
|When||Saturday, 10th June 2023|
|How to watch||BT Sport|
|Odds||Manchester City 7/4, Bayern Munich 11/4, Napoli 6/1|
It is 24 years since Manchester United’s historic treble, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s men won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the same campaign.
As we head into the second half of March, noisy neighbours City are in with a chance of equalling that achievement and Haaland could hold the key to achieving the same feat.
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With 11 games left of the league season, City are five points behind leaders Arsenal and looking to close the gap following the upcoming international break.
The defending champions are currently 6/5 to win a third consecutive Premier League title, with the Gunners available to back at 8/11.
City are now into the quarter-finals of the Champions League and, with one of Real Madrid or Liverpool set to drop out at the last-16 stage, Guardiola should be upbeat about his team’s chances of lifting the trophy in Istanbul in June.
The Citizens’ next task is to try and secure a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, when they welcome Burnley to the Etihad on Saturday night.
The return of City legend Vincent Kompany adds extra spice to this weekend’s quarter final, with his Burnley team currently 13 points clear at the top of the Championship.
The hosts are 1/5 to win the tie in 90 minutes, with Burnley as big as 16/1 while the draw can be backed at 5/1.
Tuesday’s goal bonanza was Haaland’s second Champions League hat-trick, having scored three in Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 group win over Genk in 2019.
The Norwegian international though is only the third player in Champions League history to score five times in a match.
Not surprisingly, Lionel Messi is one of those to have already achieved the feat, having bagged five goals in Barcelona’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012.
Brazilian forward Luiz Adriano is the other player with five goals to his name in a single match, when he ran riot in Shakhar Donetsk’s 7-0 win over BATE Borisov in October 2014.
Haaland now has 10 goals in this season’s competition and is likely to have his sights set on the record for the most goals in a Champions League season.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds that record, with 16 goals for Real Madrid in the 2015/16 campaign - a season they lifted the trophy after defeating city rivals Atletico in the final.
Haaland could have five matches, should City go all the way, to beat that record and the former Borussia Dortmund star is as short as 1/10 to be the tournament’s leading scorer this season.
As things stand, the 22-year-old is two goals ahead of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, with PSG’s Kylian Mbappe third with seven.
The two likely rivals to Haaland’s bid to be the competition’s top scorer look to be Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior - who has six goals to date - and five-goal Bayern Munich frontman Robert Lewandowski.