FA CUP: Five-star HAALAND sends Man City into FA Cup last 8

Erling Haaland five-goal thriller sent Manchester City to FA Cup quarterfinal

Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland scores five goals as reigning champions Manchester City demolished Luton Town 6-2 at Kenilworth Road to book a spot in the quarterfinals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Pep Guardiola opted for fresh legs against Luton Town in their fifth round FA Cup clash. Stefan Ortega, Kyle Walker, Kevin de Bruyne and Jack Grealish indicated alterations for City, with Ederson, Ruben Diaz, Rodri and Phil Foden all dropped to the bench after their narrow 1-0 victory over Bournemouth.

City came out with a point to prove and it took just three minutes to register their first goal after Erling Haaland got on the end of De Bruyne’s cleverly reverse pass to tuck it past Dutchman Tim Krul. The Norwegian combined once again with De Bruyne which left the defence of Luton Town in the dark and slotted the ball in the back of the net to register an early brace nine minutes later.

Jack Grealish, who is finding it difficult to stay fit of late following a stellar past campaign with City, could not continue and was subbed off in the 38th minute. The Englishman pulled a coat over his head in frustration as Belgian Jeremy Doku replaces him.

Not long after Doku is introduced, a loose ball drops for De Bruyne just inside his own half and slides a wonderful pass in behind a disorganised Luton defence. Haaland as we know him, bursts through before drawing Krul out of his goal and finishing with a nonchalant finish over him which sees him record a first half hat-trick. This is the Norwegians eighth treble in City colours, capping a brilliant first half performance.

Luton did have something to celebrate on the stroke of halftime after a stunning strike by Jordan Clark from a long way out which nestled in the top corner. Clark came out in the second half with the same enthusiasm and completed his brace after a well-executed volley.

The duo of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne linked up for a fourth time in the game to secure a fourth goal for Haaland and City and a fourth assist for De Bruyne. It’s scary to see how good these two players are and how they manage to compliment each other at the highest level of the game.

Haaland was not done yet and the one-man show continued as the Norwegian scored his fifth goal through a stern first-time strike after meeting Bernado Silva’s smart assist. Croatian Mateo Kovacic killed the game off after he fired beyond Krul to add a sixth goal. This was a statement from the reigning treble champions as they still in contention to repeat last seasons success. Pep Guardiola will demand the same level of performances in the league as they try to stay ahead of Arsenal and look to hit Liverpool off their pedestal.

The Citizen’s next stop is the much-anticipated Manchester Derby against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on Sunday 3 March. It remains to be seen if they can pull this performance against their ultimate rivals.

Written by Marc Strydom