Manchester City breezed into the next round of the Champions League. Erling Haaland’s two goals in Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Young Boys in Switzerland put an end to concerns about his health.
Pep Guardiola’s team has won all four games in Group G, which means they will make it to the round of 16 without having to play a single extra game.
While City beat Bournemouth 6-1 on Saturday, Haaland hurt his ankle in the first half. He was able to play at the Etihad Stadium.
Also, the Norwegian striker showed that he wasn’t still hurt by scoring his 39th goal in 34 Champions League games.
He put City ahead with a penalty kick in the first half and scored again with a great long-range shot after Phil Foden’s stunning goal doubled the hosts’ lead.
In the second half of a one-sided game, Young Boys had Sandro Lauper sent off. This continued City’s impressive run of winning all 23 of their home games in 2023.
With 24 straight home wins, Sunderland holds the English record. This record goes back to 1891 and 1892.
City has also won all 17 of its Champions League games in a row. Guardiola can rest players for the last two group games if he wants to, choosing to focus on the Premier League games against Tottenham and Crystal Palace instead.
“Of course we’re thrilled to have qualified with two games to go.” Get the most points in your group? The manager said, “We have time to think about it.”
“Perhaps we weren’t nice enough at the end to score more goals.” To describe this group, though, one word has been “consistency” for a long time.
“We have high standards and that is why we are still in the Premier League up there and qualified from the Champions League.”
Unfortunately for Guardiola, John Stones and Manuel Akanji both got hurt during the warm-up before the game. Stones will be out for a long time because of the injury he got in the first half, and Akanji had to be replaced by Kyle Walker because of a back problem he got during the warm-up.
“Manu was having trouble in the back. John was hurt again, which was a shame. The manager said, “I feel so bad for him.”
“We’ve lost a lot.” What he does is so important. He will get better; the season lasts a long time.
City beat Young Boys 3-1 in Bern two weeks ago, and it didn’t take long for the triple winners to get back on top.
No Stopping City
After a lot of pressure from City, Lauper was called for a foul in the Young Boys area in the 23rd minute on Matheus Nunes’s quick turn.
As Haaland took the penalty, he carefully sent Anthony Racioppi the wrong way. To mark the occasion, he did the same jumping goal celebration as Didier Drogba.
Drogba, a former striker for Chelsea, recently gave Haaland an award and told him to copy either his goal pose or Gary Lineker’s.
Soon after, Haaland couldn’t convert Foden’s cross, but he had the wry smile of someone who knew more City goals were on the way.
In stoppage time in the first half, Foden delivered. He handled Jack Grealish’s pass with a great touch, skipped past Ulisses Garcia into the area, and curled his shot into the far corner from five yards out.
At halftime, Haaland swapped shirts with Young Boys leader Mohamed Ali Camara, which was a bit strange. In the 51st minute, Haaland made the result clear.
After taking Rico Lewis’s pass in stride, Haaland turned and hit Racioppi with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
He scored his 15th goal of the season and 67th in 70 games for City.
Two minutes later, Lauper was sent off for a second yellow card for a rough foul on Nathan Ake.
Guardiola was able to take Haaland off because the game was almost over. He needed to rest him for Sunday’s important Premier League trip to Chelsea.