Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of excellence continued as Erling Haaland’s sensational hat-trick inspired a commanding 5-1 victory over Fulham at the Etihad Stadium.
This triumph marked City’s fourth consecutive win, maintaining their unblemished record in the 2023/24 campaign and catapulting them back to the Premier League summit.
Haaland’s heroics began early in the game, with his seventh career hat-trick in City’s iconic sky blue. His first goal of the afternoon was particularly historic, as it made him the quickest player to reach 40 Premier League goals, a milestone achieved in just 39 appearances.
The opening goal of the match, however, came from Julian Alvarez, who handed City the lead in the 30th minute. The jubilation was short-lived as Fulham swiftly responded, with Tim Ream finding the net to equalize.
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But City’s determination shone through, and just before half-time, Nathan Ake headed home from a Phil Foden corner to restore the lead, albeit amid protests from Fulham regarding an offside position.
The second half belonged to Haaland, who took center stage to seal the win in style. The Norwegian striker’s clinical finish came following a fortunate flick by Alvarez that ricocheted off Ream and into Haaland’s path. City’s attacking duo, Alvarez and Haaland, continued to wreak havoc, with Haaland also stepping up to convert a penalty confidently after a foul on Alvarez in the area.
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Fulham, despite being a goal down, continued to search for a way back into the game, but Ederson’s sharp reflexes denied Raul Jimenez’s attempt.
The match was also notable for the debut of Jeremy Doku for Manchester City, underscoring the depth of talent in their squad.
Haaland’s latest milestone further solidified his status as a Premier League sensation, surpassing Alan Shearer’s record for the quickest to 40 Premier League goals. Beyond his goal-scoring prowess, his partnership with Julian Alvarez adds a new dimension to City’s attack.
The Etihad Stadium, a fortress for City over the past decade, witnessed another victory, marking their 12th consecutive Premier League win at home. This remarkable record underscores the club’s dominance on home soil and its potential to shape their success in the 2023/24 season.
As a result of this victory, Manchester City reclaimed the top spot in the Premier League, maintaining their perfect record in the campaign. They head into the international break as the only team with a 100% record in the English top flight, leading second-placed West Ham United by two points.
Looking ahead, City’s next challenge is a top-of-the-table clash against West Ham United in London, scheduled for Saturday, September 16th, following the international break.