Having recently recovered from a foot injury that sidelined him for almost two months, Haaland showcased his prowess by netting his 15th and 16th goals of the season in the second half. His goals broke through Everton’s resilient defense and propelled him to the top of the Premier League scorers’ list.
At just 23 years old, Haaland has amassed an impressive record of 51 goals in 50 league starts, making him the most prolific scorer in the competition within the same number of starts.
With this win, Pep Guardiola’s side now has 52 points from 23 games, edging past Liverpool who can regain the lead with a win over Burnley later on Saturday. Meanwhile, Everton finds themselves in the relegation zone in 18th place.
Haaland’s return to form came at a crucial time for City, who dominated possession with 72.5% but managed only three shots on target.
“The changes in the second half gave us another rhythm and of course Erling is back. To have this player, when the ball is there from a corner… and the finishing was amazing,” Guardiola said.
“In the first half our body language was not good, we were always complaining. In the second half they were more positive If you want to give the best of yourself the body language has to be in the right position and finally we took a massively important three points.”
The Toffees’ stifling defence frustrated City before the Norwegian striker finally broke the deadlock with City’s first shot on target in the 71st minute when he fired home a blistering shot after a corner kick.
Haaland, who previously shared top spot in the scorers chart with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, completed the brace when he ran onto a pass from Kevin De Bruyne in midfield before beating Jarrad Branthwaite and then coolly slotting it past keeper Jordan Pickford.
It was the first time City have failed to produce a shot on target in the first half of a home league game since August 2022 against Crystal Palace. They went on to win that game 4-2.
Ian Woan took over in Everton’s dugout for the day while manager Sean Dyche served a one-match touchline suspension after picking up his third yellow card during last weekend’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
City face a busy week with a trip to Copenhagen for the first leg of their round-of-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday then host Chelsea on Saturday.
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