Both goals came in the first half, and they helped Manchester City beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 on Saturday in the Premier League.
City were cruising to win after back-to-back league losses, but Brighton’s reply from Ansu Fati in the 73rd minute promised to make for an uncomfortable last few minutes at the Etihad Stadium.
After some excellent buildup play by Jeremy Doku, Alvarez opened the scoring with a scuffed shot in the seventh minute.
City, bolstered by the return of crucial midfielder Rodri from suspension, dominated the first half, and Haaland capitalised on careless play by Brighton to score a second goal after 19 minutes.
City had further opportunities to extend to their lead, but Fati scored for Brighton, and Manuel Akanji was sent off for a second yellow late in stoppage time to make things tricky for the visitors.
The Manchester derby next week will be without Akanji.
With 21 points after nine games, the defending champions City are back on top of the league after this win. However, if Arsenal beats Chelsea in the later game, they will take over the top spot.
City’s players and manager Pep Guardiola, who had only once before in his tenure lost three consecutive league games, looked relieved after over 10 minutes of stoppage time.
City were not at their fluid best, but the seventh-placed Brighton should be commended for the manner they pushed the leaders to the limit after a slow start.
As before, Doku started over Jack Grealish, and the Belgian’s speed was a constant nuisance for Brighton.
His enticing move down the left and cut back set up City’s first goal, scored by Alvarez despite the fact that his shot was well off target yet still managed to sneak past Jason Steele.
Haaland had gone nearly a month without scoring for City, but after Brighton mishandled a throw-in deep in their own half, the Norwegian was given a clear shot at goal and calmly put it past Steele for his 45th goal in 44 Premier League outings.