The player Nigerian fans have christened on social media, ‘Alani Pamolekun’, Erling Haaland scored his 20th goal for Manchester City on Saturday, as his side spanked Southampton 4-0 to move top of the Premier League.
Since his arrival in the English league, Haaland, has become a terror to goalkeepers scoring with ease. His precision in front of goal has forced tears out of faithful of opponets and brought smiles to the faces of fans of the Cityzens.
No wonder, some Nigerian fans decided to nickname him ‘Alani Pamolekun’ given the wizadry he has deployed in putting ball into the net.
The 22-year-old Norway striker has taken only 13 games to reach that mark in all competitions, with struggling Saints the latest side to find out how hard it is to keep him or his team-mates quiet.
Haaland now has 15 league goals for the season, matching the tally of Kevin De Bruyne when he finished as top scorer in that competition in 2021-22 – but his team-mates keep scoring too.
City attacked relentlessly from the start and Haaland was within inches of giving them an early lead when he hit the inside of the post after galloping clear.
Instead it was Joao Cancelo who put the home side ahead, running on to Phil Foden’s pass and cutting past James Ward-Prowse before finding the bottom corner of the net.
Foden, who like Haaland scored a hat-trick here against Manchester United last weekend, got on the scoresheet himself soon afterwards with a dinked finish after de Bruyne found him in space in the box.
Foden now has seven goals for City in 12 games in all competitions this season.
His best total in one campaign so far came in 2019-20 when he scored 16 goals in 50 games.
The Cityzens wrapped up the points at the start of the second half when Mahrez volleyed home a Rodri cross.
The only thing missing for the home fans was another Haaland goal, and for once it appeared it might not be his day.
Haaland was unable to get on the end De Bruyne’s cross under pressure from Mohammed Salisu, and then brilliantly denied by Bazunu, who dived at his feet as he charged through at goal.
As the chances kept coming however, you just knew Haaland would take one – and so he did, meeting Cancelo’s cutback with a typically precise low finish to make it 4-0 after 65 minutes.
Southampton, who managed only one touch in the City area and a total of two shots – both from distance, and both off target – drew home and away against Pep Guardiola’s side last season. This time, they never looked like avoiding a fourth-straight defeat.