Manchester City vs Crystal Palace. Premier League.
Report and free match highlights as Erling Haaland scores his first goals at the Etihad; John Stones' own goal and Joachim Andersen header saw Crystal Palace ahead in the first half; Bernardo Silva began the comeback before Haaland's hat-trick in the second half
Sunday 28 August 2022 07:05, UK
Erling Haaland scored a 19-minute hat-trick to inspire a ruthless Manchester City comeback, coming from 2-0 down at half-time to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 in the Premier League.
The striker netted his first goals at the Etihad since he signed for £51m from Borussia Dortmund earlier in the summer, taking his overall tally to six goals in four league games.
"These games are why I'm here - to turn things around when there are difficult times," the 22-year-old said.
"Of course you see on the pitch I enjoy it and I feel a connection around me. Of course it takes to time but I know it will come and get even better. And that's a good feeling...
"Finally Phil played the ball to me! It's a really good feeling, this. We played for each other, we played together and that's really good. We don't care who scores, it's about winning and the winning mentality."
It was a marked difference from the first half, when Haaland was largely marked out of the game by Crystal Palace defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola added of his striker: "What he has done today, he has done all his career. It's nothing special - it's his style. He is astonishing."
Some poor Man City defending had see them two goals down inside 21 minutes as Crystal Palace made life difficult for them once again. Eberechi Eze's free-kick deflected off three Man City players before being sent past Ederson by an unwitting John Stones inside four minutes.
Andersen was then left unmarked as Eze sent in another set-piece - a corner this time - which he rose to nod home as Man City ended the first half without a shot on target.
Before Saturday, Man City had never come from 2-0 behind at half-time to win in the Premier League but as with most instances under Pep Guardiola, a little bit of history was never going to hold them back as they blew Crystal Palace away in the second half.
Bernardo Silva - subject to reported transfer interest from Barcelona - set the wheels in motion in the 53rd minute. Rodri sprayed a pass to the right wing for Silva to collect, before the Portugal midfielder drove along the top of the area before sending his low shot past Vicente Guaita.
Nine minutes later, Haaland equalised with his first of three goals. It was a wonderful, curling pass from Phil Foden that the striker nodded home, pumping up the crowd as he ran back for the restart.
His second was a typical poacher's goal. Silva's pass found Stones in the middle, but he scuffed his own shot that looked to be going wide. But Haaland was lurking at the back post to tap home to see Man City in front for the first time.
At that point, the hat-trick seemed to be inevitable and Haaland completed it in the 81st minute. Ilkay Gundogan was offered plenty of space to drive through the midfield before slotting his team-mate in through the middle. Haaland was ahead of Joel Ward, collecting the ball with ease and holding off the defender before firing home.
It was his 13th career hat-trick at the age of 22, seeing Man City extend their unbeaten start to the season.
Sky Sports' Charlotte Marsh:
"It's hard to look past anyone else for the man-of-the-match award from Saturday's game. In 19 second-half minutes, he finally introduced himself to the Etihad crowd in the perfect way.
"All three goals were expertly taken and showed off different attributes of his game. The first his ability in the air and need for good service. The second on instinct of positioning while the third was pure physical ability to give Ward zero chance of stopping Haaland's finish.
"The striker cut a frustrated figure in the first half when Crystal Palace's defenders marked him out of the game. He is their dangerman and Patrick Vieira knew it. But for all of their talent, the Eagles' backline was never going to hold out for long as Man City began to find their flow, and that proved to be the case.
"Of course, Haaland's attacking stats have him top in almost every category. He had seven shots, all of which came inside the box. All three of his shots on target were goals, and he had an xG of 1.42. Only Silva (15) had more touches in the opposition box than Haaland (10).
"Much of the discussion over the last few years has been how Man City were ever going to fill the shoes of Sergio Aguero. Gabriel Jesus did not prove to be the answer and the solution was simple when looking towards the transfer market - it was just a case of whether Man City could land Haaland.
"But as ever, they could and they did, with the Norway international already demonstrating the attributes that he is Aguero's clear successor. Haaland has scored five goals in his first four Premier League appearances - only Aguero (6) has netted more in his first four games for the club in the Premier League.
"Haaland was also the second Man City player to score twice on his Premier League debut, following Aguero in August 2011. The comparisons to the Argentine will continue through his time at the club too.
"But Haaland shows no signs of slowing down, even in these early few weeks of his Man City career. He may even surpass the Aguero milestones, but there is certainly a lot to be excited about. Believe the hype."
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (6), Dias (6), Stones (6), Cancelo (6), De Bruyne (7), Rodri (7), Mahrez (7), Silva (8), Haaland (8), Foden (8).
Subs used: Gundogan (7), Alvarez (6), Diaz (n/a), Palmer (n/a).
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Clyne (6), Ward (6), Andersen (7), Guehi (7), Mitchell (6), Schlupp (6), Doucoure (6), Eze (7), Ayew (6), Edouard (6).
Subs used: Richards (6), Hughes (5), Olise (5), Mateta (5).
Man of the match: Erling Haaland.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola:
"We have the ability to score goals, but we are conceding a lot lately. Three goals against Newcastle, three against Barcelona, two today. But it's nice to leave the situation with a good comeback.
"These kind of situations can happen, sometimes. But usually in these situations, you're going to lose.
"They are well-organised, and we didn't do what we have to do to play in these types of games [before half-time].
"Haaland, what he has done today, he has done all his career. It's nothing special - it's his style. He is astonishing.
"Bernardo Silva was a winning player today. He is the type of player that when the situation goes bad, he steps up. That's the biggest quality of a player. Everyone has skills, but how you react in the moments when the situation is wrong, he's maybe the best that we have.
"It's been a really good start to the season. We dropped two points at Newcastle, but we could've won with the chances we had. We learned a little bit, and today again."
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira:
"It's a tough place to come to play. I think we defended really well, we managed to score the two goals and knew they would be a different side in the second half.
"We conceded the first goal a little too early, then the momentum was on their side and it was really difficult for us to deal with that.
"You have to defend well for 90 minutes, 95 minutes, and in the second half we were a little less aggressive, maybe because we had already run quite a lot. But this is a quality team, with quality players.
"Of course I have regrets. You hope to get something from the game, especially at 2-0 up, but I'm really pleased and happy with the players. We competed, but the quality of the opposition makes a difference.
"We want to compete, I think we did it well against Arsenal, against Villa, Spurs and against Oxford and played some good football today.
"We knew how tough it would be today, we rolled our sleeves up and worked well as a team."
|Goal scorers||Stones (OG), Andersen, Silva, Haaland (3)|
|Assists||Eze, Rodri, Foden, Stones, Gundogan|
There is another round of Premier League fixtures in midweek. Manchester City host Nottingham Forest at 7.30pm on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium. Crystal Palace host Brentford at 7.30pm on Tuesday at Selhurst Park.