Scoring machine Erling Haaland and Manchester City are a match made in soccer heaven, and the stats prove why

Erling Haaland of Manchester City interacts with Pep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and AFC Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium.
Erling Haaland, Pep Guardiola.Getty/Lynne Cameron
  • Erling Haaland has surprised even himself with the number of goals he's already scored this season.

  • But the 22-year-old shouldn't be.

  • Both he and Manchester City are experts at scoring from inside the box, making them a match made in heaven.

Erling Haaland is taking the English Premier League by storm.

In just eight matches for Manchester City, the 22-year-old striker has scored an astonishing 14 goals – including three consecutive hat tricks at the Etihad Stadium.

Given his record for his previous club Borussia Dortmund – he scored 86 in 98 games for the German club – there were few that doubted Haaland would be able to produce in England.

Just how well he's adapted, however, has surprised even himself.

"I'm not surprised I'm scoring goals, but the fact I've scored 14 goals in the beginning of the season, and we're not in October yet – I didn't expect that," the Norway international said after netting three against Manchester United on Sunday, according to ESPN UK.

Look closely at both Haaland and City, however, and you'll see that his amazing goal-scoring pace this season should come as no surprise at all.

For Dortmund, Haaland scored all but two of his 76 Bundesliga goals from inside the box. He's continued that trend for City, with only one of his 14 EPL goals coming from outside the area.

 

According to the Premier League's website, since Pep Guardiola took over as City head coach in 2016, his side has scored – excluding this season – a total of 488 goals from inside the box. That's more than any other team by a large margin.

Guardiola's City has also made more passes into the opponent's box than any other team, as well as more crosses.

According to FBREf, in the 198 matches between the start of the 2017-18 season and now, City has played a total of 2,849 passes into the opposition area, averaging easily a league-high 14.4 per game.

So going back to Haaland's surprise at his own goal-scoring record this season: Combine a player, who scores goals almost exclusively from inside the box, with a team that scores more than any other in the same fashion, and the outcome is exactly what you'd expect.

Haaland and City are a match made in soccer heaven.

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