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Manchester City – Erling Haaland surprised after Reakton’s record goal: “I’ve never seen it before”



Erling Haaland has become the first player to score 35 goals in a Premier League season.

And another record: The football world is slowly but surely running out of superlatives for miracle striker Erling Haaland.

Erling Haaland did not expect the painfully joking aftermath of his magical record night. “I’ve never experienced anything like it,” said the miracle striker, amazed at the trellis of backslapping and smirking colleagues. “It hurt a lot,” he added, grinning broadly, “because everyone was hitting me on the back.”

Credit where credit is due: With his 35th league goal, the Norwegian “tormonster” broke the supposedly all-time Premier League record in a 3-0 win with Manchester City against West Ham United. “In these difficult times,” idol Gary Lineker joked on Twitter, “our thoughts are with Alan Shearer.” But the legendary striker, who, like Andy Cole a year earlier, had scored 34 goals in 1995, could not imagine “a nicer guy” to inherit the lost record.

For Shearer it’s clear: “He’s the best!” And sometimes even overwhelmed by his exploits. “I don’t know what to say,” the 22-year-old stammered, visibly nervous, during his short speech in the dressing room, “but I’m very happy. Thank you guys!” The rest was cheers and applause.

Meanwhile, the English press, rich in garlands of words, ran out of superlatives. Haaland, wrote the venerable Times, plays “in a league of its own”, the Independent headlined: “Homage to Haaland!”

Pep Guardiola, who had organized the trellis himself, did exactly that – and even compared Haaland to his former star student Lionel Messi. In terms of goal risk and mentality, he emphasized, the attacker could compete with the seven-time world footballer.

Guardiola on Haaland: “Learn so much from him”

“We learn so much from him,” enthused Guardiola, “including me as a coach. He’s something special, a unique person.” One day, the coach prophesied, “he will break his own records”.

First, in the remaining five league games, Haaland is targeting the 37 goals scored by Ron Davies (FC Southampton/1967), the last striker who was better in the old First Division. Then Jimmy Greaves’ post-war record of 41 goals for Chelsea in 1961. Only Dixie Dean’s (Everton/1928) 60 goals remain unmatched, right? Before Haaland, the Norwegian radio wrote, “no record is certain”.

If he hadn’t changed his goalkeeper so often, Guardiola said almost ruefully, “he would have scored more often”. Lineker joked about the discussions at the start of the season: “Just wait and see when he gets used to Premier League football.”

Haaland, whom Papa Alfie cheered for from the stands, was “extra proud”. In the dressing room he “chilled” with his colleagues, now he “drives home, gambles on the console, eats, sleeps” – and when he wakes up again, he thinks of his next opponent, Leeds. Not the records? No, no, the exceptional attacker insisted, “otherwise I’ll go crazy”.