Haaland scores hat-trick as Man City tame Wolves. With a 3-0 victory over Wolves on Sunday, Erling Haaland’s fourth hat-trick in 19 Premier League games brought Manchester City to within two points of league leaders Arsenal.
After doubting the English champions’ will to defend their championship following Thursday’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham, Pep Guardiola received the response he was hoping for from the crowd.
When Haaland burst through Wolves’ defense five minutes before halftime, there was no doubt about the outcome of the three points, even if the hosts had to fight back from a 2-0 deficit against Spurs in a thrilling second half.
Haaland has scored less frequently lately, but his goal from Kevin De Bruyne’s pass brought him up to par with the 23 league goals that Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min combined for to win the Golden Boot last season.
After Ilkay Gundogan was knocked to the ground by Ruben Neves early in the second half, the 22-year-old increased his total to 30 goals in all competitions from the penalty spot.
Four minutes later, Wolves gave Haaland his third goal by allowing Riyad Mahrez to pass the ball to his teammate and square for him to roll into an open goal.
To the relief of Wolves, Haaland was substituted on the hour mark by Julian Alvarez as Guardiola promptly seized the opportunity to rest his star striker.
The men of Julen Lopetegui should have still received more punishment from the city.
After receiving a through pass from De Bruyne, Mahrez narrowly missed holding his run and was judged to be offside. Gundogan then missed a wonderful opportunity to score.
The three points, though, were more than enough to put pressure on Arsenal before their match against Manchester United later that day at home.
Wolves are now barely out of the drop zone on goal differential after only their second league loss under Lopetegui.
After a scoreless draw against Brentford at home, Leeds moved one point clear of the bottom three, although they are still winless in the league since November.
The biggest save of the game came from David Raya, who stopped the in-form Wilfried Gnonto and earned the Bees a point that puts them over Liverpool into eighth place.