Man City vs Leipzig: Haaland’s historic 5 goals help City win 8-1 on aggregate
City hit seven – and Erling Haaland scored five of them – to ensure a 7-0 in Man City vs Leipzig: over RB Leipzig on an unforgettable night of Champions League football.
The victory, on an electric Etihad Stadium evening, helped us quality for the quarter-finals of the illustrious competition for a sixth consecutive season.
Haaland became the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League game after Luiz Adriano in October 2014 (Shakhtar Donetsk v BATE Borisov) and Lionel Messi in March 2012 (Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen).
He has also now scored 33 goals in 25 games in the Champions League, reaching the 30-goal milestone in fewer matches than any other player in the competition's history – and becoming the youngest player to reach 30 goals in Champions League history at 22 years and 236 days.
Haaland now has a remarkable 39 goals from 36 games and his quintet this evening, allied to a fine second half finish by captain Ilkay Gundogan and a late blast from Kevin De Bruyne, saw us progress 8-1 on aggregate.
Man City vs Leipzig: Summary
Haaland's first was from the spot on 22 minutes before he doubled his tally with a neat header from close-range two minutes later.
He completed his hat-trick moments before the half-time whistle, prodding the ball home after Ruben Dias had seen a towering header saved on the goalline.
Gundogan produced a fine left-foot finish on 49 minutes before Haaland hit four and five on 53 and 57 minutes – and he didn't even complete the game, earning a well-deserved rest on 63 minutes ahead of a blockbuster close to the campaign.
De Bruyne put the icing on the cake with a wonderful long-range finish in injury time.
Now we face an exciting three-day wait to find out our last eight opponents, with the draw taking place at 11:00 (UK) on Friday 17 March at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
There was the customary Light Show in the moments before kick-off in this Champions League Round of 16 decider, which raised everyone's temperature ahead of the game.
And, when the players eventually entered the field, the atmosphere cranked up yet another level with the crowd licking their lips at what was to come.
Pep Guardiola and Marco Rose walked out moments later, deep in friendly conversation, but when the tie began it was down to the serious business of progression through to the quarter-finals of the illustrious competition.
When the whistle blew for the start of the game, the noise levels crackled in an expectant Etihad.
It didn't take long for the hosts to fashion the opening chance and what an opportunity it was, Ilkay Gundogan skying over a shot in the box on three minutes following a pinpoint cross into the box from the recalled Kevin De Bruyne on the right flank.
Jack Grealish flew down the left wing on nine minutes, playing the ball into Gundogan whose return pass didn't quite make it back to the in-form Brummie wideman.
Nathan Ake produced a fine flighted ball into the path of an onrushing Erling Haaland on 11 minutes but the star striker couldn't prod it home past the alert Janis Blaswich as City began to crank up the pressure.
Ederson was called into action for the first time on 15 minutes as he came out to claim a David Raum ball into the danger zone from the left.
Grealish, proving a nuisance on the left flank, saw the ball ricochet into his path on 16 minutes following a cutback by Ake but his final, instinctive shot in the box deflected over the bar by Will Orban in the heart of the Leipzig defence.
There was a melee inside the Leipzig box on 19 minutes but the visitors appeared to have cleared the danger after several half-chances for the hosts. However, referee Slavko Vincic was called to the VAR monitor to assess a potential handball by Benjamin Henrichs and, after watching a replay, he pointed to the spot and booked the right-back.
Haaland stepped up to the spot on 22 minutes and made no mistake, firing home past Blaswich.
Haaland doubled his tally for the night and put us into a 3-1 lead just two minutes later as he nodded home from close-range after De Bruyne had smashed a stunning shot against the crossbar and, thankfully, back into the Norwegian's path.
He almost had his hat-trick moments later as he smashed a shot towards the near post but it was palmed away by Blaswich.
Timo Werner was in the book on 33 minutes after arguing a little too vociferously for Ederson to be punished as the Brazilian looked to clear the danger during a rare Leipzig attack.
Grealish, again heavily involved, felt he'd earned another spot-kick on 36 minutes after he was felled in the box but the referee waved away appeals.
Gundogan could well have made it three for the hosts on 39 minutes when he was played in delightfully down the right channel by the attentive, observant De Bruyne. The German, though, had his goalbound effort parried away by Blaswich.
Haaland had his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time, with the fab forward ensuring the ball crossed the line after Ruben Dias had an initial header saved by Blaswich.
City began the second half as they had finished the first – with intense attacking intent.
Gundogan got in on the goalscoring act on 49 minutes as the skipper twisted and turned on the edge of the box before firing an unstoppable shot past the despairing, diving Blaswich.
Haaland had his fourth of the night on 53 minutes when he blasted past Blaswich. His initial chance was well saved after the ball had been headed to him by Bernardo Silva. It then fell to Manuel Akanji who also was denied but Haaland didn't let a second opportunity allude him as he fired home.
No.5 was not far behind for the towering forward as he finished expertly once again on 57 minutes.
There were a flurry of substitutions for both sides just before and just after the hour mark with the game all but settled.
They did affect the flow of the game but then nothing could compare to the scintillating start to the second period.
City did keep pushing and prodding for more and the night ended on another high note as De Bruyne fired home an unstoppable shot in stoppage time.