Premier League: Erling Haaland Scores Hat-trick As Manchester City Outplay Wolves
Erling Haaland’s fourth hat-trick in 19 Premier League appearances hauled Manchester City to within two points of leaders Arsenal with a 3-0 win over Wolves on Sunday. Pep Guardiola got the reaction he was hoping for from the English champions after questioning their hunger to retain the title after Thursday’s 4-2 win over Tottenham. The hosts had to come from 2-0 down in a dramatic second half against Spurs, but there was little mystery over the destination of the three points once Haaland had broken Wolves’ resistance five minutes before half-time.
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 just missed holding his run and was judged to be offside. Gundogan then missed a wonderful opportunity to score.
But three goals were more than enough for the three points to put pressure on Arsenal ahead of their clash at home to Manchester United later on Sunday.
Just a second league defeat since Lopetegui took charge leaves Wolves still outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.
Leeds edged one point clear of the bottom three, but remain without a league win since November after a 0-0 draw at home to Brentford.
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.
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