It could yet be a famous season in the history of Manchester City, as they look to become the first English team since Manchester United in 1999 to win the treble. City picked up their first of potentially three accolades in late May, as they finally got their hands on the Premier League title for the third straight season. It has been a campaign full of landmark performances, but few have caught the imagination more than Erling Haaland’s heroics.
The Norwegian broke the long-standing record for most goals in a single Premier League campaign with his effort in a victory over West Ham United. His effort was his 35th of the league campaign, breaking the record that was jointly held by Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer from the mid-90sHaaland’s goal scoring feats have caught the imagination throughout his young career, but how have his performances added to this already special City side under Pep Guardiola?
Record-Breaking Debut Season
There was huge excitement at the start of the 2022-23 season after it was announced that Manchester City had agreed a deal to sign Haaland from Borussia Dortmund after activating his £51.2 million release clause. However, critics were quick to question whether he would be able to adapt to English football following a below-par debut Community Shield defeat against Liverpool.
But, he put that slight setback behind him by getting off the mark at the first occasion against West Ham on the opening day, netting twice. His scoring sequence would continue, netting a first hat-trick against Crystal Palace before hitting a treble once in the following match against Nottingham Forest.
Haaland’s scoring record would continue in the Manchester derby, as he netted three in a 6-3 victory over the Red Devils in October. Before the end of the calendar year, he netted twice in a 3-1 win over Leeds to take his tally to 20 in 14 matches; becoming the quickest player to hit that tally in Premier League history.
Haaland then netted three against Wolves, before scoring five in a Champions League tie against RB Leipzig. His Premier League scoring record would continue in the FA Cup, as he netted a hat-trick against Burnley, before breaking Shearer and Cole’s Premier League record with a 35th goal of the league campaign against West Ham in May.
Personal Accolades & Team Honours
Haaland’s debut season at City has been full of record-breaking moments. His fourth hat trick of the season against Wolves saw him surpass the 25-goal tally that won the golden boot in the 2021-22 season, and that was achieved in only January. The City striker also equaled the records set by Adriano and Lionel Messi in the Champions League with five efforts against Leipzig in March.
The tally would also take his tally for the season to 39 goals, breaking the record for the most goals by a City player in a single season. It also saw him become only the third player to score at least ten goals in multiple Champions League campaigns. Also, in the following round of the Champions League, he would score his 45th goal of the campaign, exceeding the record of 44 goals registered by Mohamed Salah and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Haaland’s 35th goal of the season broke one of the esteemed long records in the Premier League, and he was the winner of a number of prestigious awards just a week later. He was first named the FWA Footballer of the Year, winning by a record 82% of the vote ahead of Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard. Haaland would later get his hands on his first Premier League title on May 20, and he would be fit and ready for the FA Cup final on June 3, and the Champions League final against Inter Milan just seven days later.
What’s Next For Haaland?
Guardiola is among the best managers to have ever lived, which means that he will already be plotting for the 2023-24 season before the current campaign has finished. Haaland will once again be a key star for City, but Guardiola is likely to freshen up a number of different areas of the field. Next season, City will be targeting an unprecedented fourth Premier League title on the bounce, while they could also be in the hunt to become the first team in football history to win back-to-back trebles.
A quadruple could also be within reach if they are able to return to form in the EFL Cup. But, City will likely face a number of resurgent challengers next term, with Manchester United and Arsenal both looking back on track. Liverpool will also be a side to consider next season after they have endured a miserable campaign throughout 2022-23. But, the increased challengers for the top-flight title could see City, and Haaland, raise their games to levels that we have never previously seen.