Manchester City golden boy Erling Haaland has scored his third hat-trick in the Premier League campaign against arch-rival Manchester United, matching Cristiano Ronaldo’s triple fold in the league campaign.
The 22-year-old Norwegian super striker had bagged a hat-trick against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest before Sunday’s Manchester derby following the 6-3 shameful defeat against City’s arch-rivals Manchester United.
The interesting thing is that Erling Haaland has now matched the total number of Premier League hat-tricks that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has (3), having played just eight Premier League games in contrast to Ronaldo’s 232 Premier League matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first hat-trick happened back in January 2008 against Newcastle.
The Portuguese star notched two hat-tricks last season following his return to Old Trafford. The first came against Tottenham and his second versus Norwich City.
Even though the five-time Ballon d’Or victor finds himself on the edge of Manchester United’s first team, the Portuguese star remained an unused substitute at the Etihad on Sunday, October 2, 2022.
The Manchester City forward has now managed to net 14 goals in just eight league appearances for his new side.
It’s also important to note that the 22-year-old Norwegian star Haaland assisted two of Foden’s three goals in the Manchester derby against Ten Hag’s team.
On the other hand, Manchester United’s legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo was helpless as he remained a dumb spectator throughout Sunday’s clash as his side suffered a 6-3 demolition at the hands of Guardiola’s City, thanks to the hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.
The 22-year-old Norwegian star who now has 14 Premier League and 3 Champions League goals for Manchester City since he joined the club from Dortmund this season, scored two goals against United before half-time and then sealed his third hat-trick in the second half.
Haaland’s hat-trick against United was his third consecutive hat-trick during home games making him the first player in the Premier League to achieve such a feat.
After Sunday’s league match, Erling Haaland alleged he was mainly looking forward to the Manchester derby upon joining Manchester City from Dortmund, and he stamped his authority on the derby after his side dealt with United.
“Yeah, not bad! We scored six goals! What can I say? It’s amazing”, Haaland told Sky Sports after the Manchester Derby. “To win at home, scoring six goals, it’s nice. You can feel it all the time. You can see the passes we give each other. We always want to go forward and attack. It’s what I love about the team. In the end, it’s amazing. There is nothing more to say.”
The 22-year-old claimed City could have scored more than six goals had his side not relented in the second half.
He told BBC Sport that: “It could’ve been more and in the second half we should’ve been tighter, worked a bit harder because it was a bit sloppy at times. We lost the second half and this is not good so we still have to work.”
Erling Haaland’s fortunes came at a time when Cristiano Ronaldo is struggling at United, with his future at the club unclear.
The Portuguese star has only started one league match for United this term, in the 4-0 defeat at Brentford.
It’s disheartening to see one of the greatest footballers of all-time and five times Ballon d’Or winner appeared as a substitute in other United’s top-flight matches but was left on the bench for the first time at the Etihad Stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo has only one goal for United this season which came in the Europa League as he is not enjoying his role under Erik ten Hag.
Perhaps the table could have turned in United’s favor if Ronaldo was on the pitch on Sunday but laying him on the bench throughout the match was like a slap on the face of the five-time Ballon d’Or legend.
Speaking after the disgraceful defeat, Christian Eriksen of Manchester United said: “It came very heavy. Everyone feels it was a very bad day at the office. We started on the wrong foot.
“They had chances straight from kick-off. We can only blame ourselves. We missed a bit of courage to play out from the back and we let them be at their strength.
“The main focus from this game will be on ourselves. There are a lot of things we need to change and a lot of things we need to do better. Today was far from acceptable from what we should be doing.”
It’s noteworthy that Erling Haaland has emerged as the third Manchester City player to score a hat-trick against Manchester United after Horace Barnes in October 1921 and Francis Lee in December 1970.
In the same vein, Manchester City is also just the third team in the history of England’s top-flight to have two of their players score hat-tricks in a single match after Arsenal vs Southampton (2003) and Leicester vs Southampton (2019).