Football, Premier League

Man City vs Wolves: Haaland hits 4 as City close the gap to Arsenal

With four goals in a 5-1 victory over Wolves, Erling Haaland gave an incredible performance that put Manchester City three wins away from a record-tying fourth Premier League title.

Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table has grown to four points after their easy victory against Bournemouth earlier on Saturday, but Pep Guardiola’s squad never panicked because they still had a game remaining.

After just 12 minutes, Haaland’s first of two penalties gave City the lead.

Before halftime, Haaland completed his hat-trick with a thunderous header from Rodri’s precise cross. Pawson gave the second penalty after a pitch-side analysis revealed that Nelson Semedo had clearly fouled the striker.

On his 100th City appearance, Julian Alvarez still had time to add a fifth goal as the champions moved closer to winning the championship and reduced Arsenal’s advantage in goal differential.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola said: “I didn’t have the feeling we were really good. Especially in the first half, we lost a lot of simple balls.

“But against teams with high pressing we can counter attack – always we are a dangerous team.

“There’s just one week left – one week, three games. Nine points, we will be champions. Seven points, six points, three points – Arsenal will be champions.”

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil said: “I have to take responsibility for the way the game unfolds. We made a lot of errors – unforced ones – which gave Manchester City some really good chances.

“The second goal, losing the ball how we did. The last goal, losing the ball how we did. The goal straight after we scored, where we’re late on the pressing phase. Mistakes against this team can be punished and they were – they punished us ruthlessly.

“I’m keen to state the officials have no real part to play in the way the game ends up. We’re fully responsbile for the performance and the mistakes we make.

“But the first penalty I thought was a really poor decision – terrible. Gvardiol probably plays as big a part in the contact with Rayan as Rayan does. I don’t know what Rayan’s meant to do – he can’t vanish.

“You don’t see those given very often, when the shot’s been hit over the bar and there’s just a coming together.

“I thought the second penalty was a penalty but I was surprised how they reached that – I thought on field they would give that. I was surprised it was overturned and deemed clear and obvious but they do make the right decision.”

There are three games remaining for Manchester City to win the Premier League. They visit Tottenham on Tuesday, May 14, after going to Fulham on Saturday, May 11. On Sunday, May 19, City will host West Ham to end the season.

On May 11, Wolves play Crystal Palace. On May 19, they play their final game of the season at Liverpool, which is Jurgen Klopp’s last game as manager.

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