Erling Haaland warns there is more to come after first Man City Premier League hat-trick

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Erling Haaland warned there is much more to come after his first Premier League hat-trick helped Manchester City overcome a two-goal deficit to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Saturday.

City signed Haaland from Borussia Dortmund seeking as close to a guarantee of goals as they could get, and when they needed them on Saturday the Norway striker delivered, scoring three in the space of 20 minutes to turn what could have been another home defeat to Palace into victory.

Pep Guardiola’s side were second best to a first-half Palace display Patrick Vieira described as “perfect”, leading through a John Stones own goal and a Joachim Andersen header, but after Bernardo Silva pulled one back in the 53rd minute, Haaland took over with his first home goals for City.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League

“These games are why I’m here – to turn things around when there are difficult times,” the 22-year-old said.

After two seasons of playing with a false nine, City are still adjusting to having a striker with the physical presence of Haaland.

Phil Foden was criticised for failing to pass the ball to Haaland in goalscoring situations both against Bournemouth and in last week’s draw at Newcastle, but it was the England midfielder’s cross which set up Haaland’s first before he poked home a second and ran on to Silva’s pass for the third.

“Of course you see on the pitch I enjoy it and I feel a connection around me,” Haaland added. “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.”

Image: Man City have come back from two goals down at half-time in the Premier League for the first time

Haaland’s goals brought a huge roar at the Etihad, where frustration had built as a compact, clinical Palace – seeking a repeat of their 2-0 win here last season – snuffed out City’s attack for 45 minutes.

This was a fourth game in City’s last six Premier League outings where they have fallen two goals behind. Though they have avoided defeat in all four, winning two, it is a concern for Pep Guardiola.

“We score a lot of goals but the problem I have now is we concede a lot,” Guardiola said. “We struggle to do the uncomfortable things…

“We are lucky to come back. What happened in the past, normally today we lose the game. The Premier League doesn’t wait. Teams are so strong, so difficult, if you fall behind in the points you will not come back.”

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Pep Guardiola praised the performances of both Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva after the duo were instrumental in Man City’s 4-2 win against Crystal Palace

As Haaland turned the match around in the second half, a frustrated Vieira could only watch on as City made spaces that Palace had successfully shut down before the break.

“Collectively they went to a different level in the second half that we couldn’t cope with,” he said.

“I’m disappointed to concede four goals but at the same time our first half was a perfect one because we didn’t give them much space, we worked hard and we worked well. We made it really difficult.

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Patrick Vieira was pleased with the performance his players produced and felt they competed with Man City for much of the game

“We spent a lot of energy defending in the first half and in the second half we lost a bit of physicality and concentration and discipline and we can’t do that against this team and these players.”

Palace should arguably have been 3-0 up with half an hour gone when Odsonne Edouard deflected an Ederson clearance to Jordan Ayew, who fired home. The ball had been fully released but the officials determined Ederson had been impeded and awarded a free-kick.

“From where I was I couldn’t see it, so it would be difficult for me to comment,” Vieira said.

Analysis: Haaland filling the hole left by Aguero

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.”

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