Erling Haaland became the first player to score three straight Premier League hat-tricks at home and Phil Foden also bagged three in a 6-3 thumping for Manchester City over Manchester United as Pep Guardiola’s men moved back within one point of league leaders Arsenal and extended their unbeaten run in England’s top flight to 20 games, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
The first half was one-way traffic. David de Gea pulled off a point-blank save to deny Kevin De Bruyne before Bernardo Silva’s follow-up was blocked by Scott McTominay. However, Foden opened the scoring on eight minutes, cleverly steering in Silva’s cross following a intricate team move which started when Manuel Akanji dispossessed former Borussia Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho.
Pep Guardiola’s men went within a whisker of making it 2-0 when İlkay Gündoğan’s free-kick cannoned off De Gea’s left-hand post. Shortly after the half-hour mark though, Kevin De Bruyne delivered a set-piece, placing it on Haaland’s head as the Norwegian directed his effort just over the goal line while Raphaël Varane received treatment for an injury. No sooner had Varane returned to the pitch then it was three. Jack Grealish drove upfield as United’s defenders backed off before the England winger fed De Bruyne, whose inch-perfect clipped cross found Haaland sneaking in behind Varane to apply the finishing touch.
City duly added a fourth before HT, picking off their wounded opponents on the counter-attack. De Bruyne surged forward and slipped in Haaland down the left flank, with the striker turning provider to put the ball on a plate for Foden to slide home for his 50th City goal in all competitions, breaking Lionel Messi’s record as the youngest player to bring up that milestone under Guardiola’s tutelage.
The Red Devils got one back after the break when Antony collected Christian Eriksen’s raking crossfield ball, cut inside Grealish and curled wonderfully beyond Ederson, but normal service was resumed when City built from the back with brutal simplicity. Gündoğan, Silva, Grealish and De Bruyne all got involved before Sergio Gomez’s measured square ball was swept in by Haaland for his record-breaking strike – his 14th in just eight league games. It was soon the other 22-year-old’s turn to get his own match ball, as Foden stroked in Haaland’s threaded pass for his first-ever senior treble, although substitute Anthony Martial claimed a late brace, pouncing on Ederson’s parry from Fred’s shot and then converted a deserved 91st-minute penalty to record his fourth and fifth goals in this fixture.
City return to the Etihad on Wednesday against FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League, with United travelling to Cyprus to face Omonia Nicosia the following day in the Europa League.