The crazy numbers behind Erling Haaland's stellar season... and how football reacted

·4-min read
Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates after Ilkay Gundogan scores their side's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on March 14, 2023 in Manchester, England - James Gill /Getty Images
Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates after Ilkay Gundogan scores their side's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg two match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on March 14, 2023 in Manchester, England - James Gill /Getty Images

The world may be standing up and salivating over Erling Haaland's extraordinary goalscoring feats for Manchester City but the Norway striker always felt he was destined to bag hatfuls at the club he supported as a boy.

"I knew I was going to score goals because last season... how many did they score? Probably 100," he said. "So when I saw them without a striker and they were crossing the ball in, I was like, 'Ah, I'd love to be there'".

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Haaland's five goals in City's 7-0 Champions League rout of RB Leipzig on Tuesday saw him eclipse Tommy Johnson's 94-year record to become the club's highest scorer in a single season with 39 goals in just 35 appearances.

With City having a potential 19 matches still to play this term, a half-century of goals and perhaps more is firmly in sight.

So how did the footballing world react to Haaland's latest record breaking escapades? And what do the mind-boggling statistics tell us? Telegraph Sport takes a look.

Sergio Aguero

"How crazy this kid is. Pep subbed him off on 63. I would've left him on the field because we don't know – this kid could've scored six or seven goals."

City's all time leading scorer suggested he would have given Haaland the chance to become the first player to score six Champions League goals in a single match had he been in manager Pep Guardiola's shoes.

Jack Grealish

"An absolute ball magnet."

Grealish had coined a new nickname for Haaland by the time the players were back in the dressing room at full-time.

Stat attack 1: With 28 Premier League goals this season, Haaland has scored more than the entire Chelsea team put together

Michael Owen

"And they say @ManCity are a worse team with @ErlingHaaland  😂🙈"

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen scoffed at questions about Haaland and City's compatibility.

L'Equipe

French sports newspaper, L'Equipe, awarded Haaland a 10/10 rating – only the 16th time that has happened – and in doing so he became only the second player after Lionel Messi to receive that accolade twice and likened him to ET on their front page.

Stat attack 2: Haaland has taken a total of 623 touches in the Premier League this season, meaning one in 22 touches results in a goal

Rio Ferdinand

"What Haaland is doing in football right now is astonishing"

Champions League winner with Manchester United in 2008 suggested Haaland's exploits were hard to digest.

John Stones

"How do I go about this without putting pressure on Erling? He'd probably thrive off it. I believe he really could do what he wants, just from his hunger and his attitude and his professionalism and I'd love to see him do it, definitely."

Manchester City's Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (L) celebrates scoring the team's fifth goal, his fourth, with Manchester City's English defender John Stones during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadi - Getty Images/Oli Scarff
Manchester City's Norwegian striker Erling Haaland (L) celebrates scoring the team's fifth goal, his fourth, with Manchester City's English defender John Stones during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg football match between Manchester City and RB Leipzig at the Etihad Stadi - Getty Images/Oli Scarff

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored 50 or more goals in a single season on six occasions each for Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively and John Stones believes Haaland could rewrite the rulebook by posting a similar total despite being Premier League-based.

Stat attack 3: Haaland is averaging a goal every 75 minutes this season and has a 31 per cent shot conversion rate in the Premier League

Peter Crouch

"Haalands taking the p--- now"

Crouch, once of Liverpool, suggested Haaland was starting to take the mickey.

Stat attack 4: Haaland, the youngest player to hit 30 Champions League goals, is also just the third person to score five goals in a Champions League game, after Messi and Luiz Adriano

Other players past and present just opted for a bunch of emojis to emphasise Haaland's feats:

Jude Bellingham (Haaland's former Borussia Dortmund team-mate): 🤯

Carles Puyol (Messi's old Barcelona team-mate): 😳😳😳🔝🔝

Alan Shearer (the Premier League's all-time top scorer with 260 goals): 👏👏👏👏👏

Stat attack 5: Haaland and Messi are the only players to score a first half hat-trick in the Champions League

Noel Gallagher

"Words fail you, you know. He's crazy. He got four taps in and a penalty. He's just there."

Rock star and City fan Gallagher is rarely lost for words but Haaland almost left him speechless.

Stat attack 6: Haaland needed just 19 games to score four Premier League hat-tricks. Ruud van Nistelrooy was the next quickest to four, in 65 matches