Erling Haaland is on fire. The Norwegian striker has begun life as a Premier League footballer by breaking records, terrifying opposition defenders and laughing in the face of pre-season detractors.
His first goal of three against Nottingham Forest last night was his 100th top-flight league goal in his career (now 102), which is made even more impressive by the fact that he only turned 22 years old in July.
Here, we analyse the impact he’s already had five league games into his Manchester City career.
What Records Has Erling Haaland Broken?
Sorry Mick Quinn – your 30-year reign is over. Sergio Agüero came close to beating him but could only replicate Quinn’s feat of eight goals in his first five Premier League appearances. Now Haaland has gone one better. This is officially the best goalscoring start by a player in a Premier League season.
Most Goals in First Five Premier League Appearances
Erling Haaland: 9
Mick Quinn: 8
Sergio Agüero: 8
Diego Costa: 7
Jürgen Klinsmann: 6
Fabrizio Ravanelli: 6
Teemu Pukki: 6
David Hirst: 5
Paul Wilkinson: 5
Hamilton Ricard: 5
Alen Boksic: 5
Pavel Pogrebnyak: 5
Leonardo Ulloa: 5
It’s very early days, admittedly, but Haaland has the best minutes per goal ratio of any player to score five or more Premier League goals, averaging a goal every 44 minutes. The next best is former Man City star Agüero (every 108 minutes).
Haaland has been a monster in the box so far in his Premier League career. Since 2003-04, when Opta began recording touch data in the Premier League, no player with five or more goals in a PL season has averaged fewer touches per goal than Haaland this season (11.7) – way below the previous lowest, set by both Michy Batshuayi in 2016-17 and Jamie Vardy in 2021-22 (29 touches per goal).
With his nine goals in August, Haaland came close to breaking another record – the most goals in a single month of Premier League action. He couldn’t quite replicate Luis Suárez’s feats for Liverpool in December 2013, however – the Uruguayan striker scored 10 times in seven appearances that month. With Haaland only playing five matches this month, it feels likely that he’d have surpassed that record if he’d been given two more games to do so.
Last night’s three-goal haul wasn’t the earliest or quickest hat-trick scored in a Premier League match, however. Both of those records belong to Sadio Mané for his exceptional treble for Southampton versus Aston Villa on 16 May 2015 – his three goals were scored just in the space of 176 seconds (2:56) and he had sealed his hat-trick just 15 minutes and 18 seconds into the match.
But Haaland can say he scored the earliest ‘perfect’ hat-trick in a Premier League match, with his first coming via his left foot, his second goal with his right foot and his hat-trick goal a header.
Print out that certificate, sir.
Scoring Back-to-Back Premier League Hat-Tricks
The hat-trick against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night followed a treble against Crystal Palace on Saturday. In scoring trebles in consecutive Premier League games, it was just the eighth time that a player has scored a hat-trick in back-to-back appearances in the competition.
Scoring Consecutive Premier League Hat-Tricks
Les Ferdinand for Queens Park Rangers: vs. Nottingham Forest (10 April 1993) and vs. Everton (12 April 1993)
Ian Wright for Arsenal: vs. Ipswich Town (5 March 1994) and vs. Southampton (19 March 1994)
Thierry Henry for Arsenal: vs. Portsmouth (5 March 2005) and vs. Norwich City (2 April 2005)
Didier Drogba for Chelsea: vs. West Bromwich Albion (9 May 2010) and vs. Wigan Athletic (14 August 2010)
Wayne Rooney for Manchester United: vs. Arsenal (August 28 2011) and vs. Bolton Wanderers (10 September 2011)
Harry Kane for Tottenham Hotspur: vs Leicester City (18 May 2017) and vs. Hull City (21 May 2017)
Harry Kane for Tottenham Hotspur: vs. Burnley (23 December 2017) and vs. Southampton (26 December 2017)
Erling Haaland for Manchester City: vs. Crystal Palace (27 August 2022) and vs. Nottingham Forest (31 August 2022)
Haaland’s back-to-back hat-tricks weren’t quite as impressive as Les Ferdinand’s for QPR in April 1993, with those coming just two days apart – the Man City striker achieving his four days apart (four and a half, if you’re being pedantic).
The last player to score consecutive Premier League hat-tricks in home matches before Haaland was Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United in March and April 2022 versus Spurs and Norwich City respectively.
Has any player scored a hat-trick in three successive Premier League appearances before? No, they have not.
Watch out Aston Villa, this Saturday.
Will He Finish as Premier League Top Scorer?
Just ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League season, we analysed the main contenders for the Golden Boot, with Haaland being one of the names on that list. We covered his ability to get in to great goalscoring positions across his time at Borussia Dortmund, where he averaged a non-penalty xG of 0.72 per 90 minutes, but he’s averaging even higher so far at Man City this term (1.08).
Winning the Golden Boot in your first season as a Premier League player is no mean feat, a quest that Haaland has made the perfect start in achieving. The only player to win the award in their first Premier League season was Kevin Phillips for Sunderland in 1999-00 (30 goals), arguably made even more impressive with it being his first top-flight season in any country. This even extends to Teddy Sheringham, Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, who played in the top flight before the Premier League existed.
Haaland will want to take a leaf out of former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres’ book. Torres scored 24 goals in his first Premier League season in 2007-08 – that’s the highest tally by a non-British player in their first Premier League season.
Will Haaland go on to break the Premier League scoring record in a single season? There’s every chance he will considering the start he’s had, while also considering the immense creativity he’s got behind him at Manchester City.
He’s already over a quarter of the way to the 34-goal record with his nine goals (26%) in just five appearances in 2022-23.
Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, hide behind your sofas.
Premier League Top Scorers Quiz
Think you know all there is to know about Premier League Golden Boot winners of past seasons? Well, it’s time to take our quiz to discover how much knowledge you really have.
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