It may well be courted by the greatest in Europe and described as “fantastic” by Pep Guardiola, Erling Haaland is going through a slightly more complicated period. Everything is relative of course but the Norwegian has remained silent on his last four matches played. Unheard of for almost three years. A figure which tends above all to show the usual frantic pace of the Haaland phenomenon.
There were three matches – two of which were quite affordable – with Norway in Gibraltar (3-0 win), against Turkey (3-0 loss) and Montenegro (1-0 win). And the last lost 1-2 against Frankfurt with Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Four matches, four starts for Erling Haaland. 315 minutes where the Norwegian cyborg failed to find the net.
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And it was not for lack of trying: 17 shots in the four games. An unprecedented shortage this season. And even for a long time. The Leeds-born player had not known such silence since his time at Molde. He had just turned 18, during four Norwegian league matches between mid-August and mid-September 2018. With one notable difference: he had started only twice and not four. In Salzburg, Haaland has never passed the two-match mark without scoring. Its most important slump with Dortmund dates from February / March 2020 (Friborg, Monchengladbach and Paris).
Watch out for the cyborg awakening
Traveling this Tuesday to City, the Norwegian will still be closely watched by Guardiola’s men. “He can score with his right foot, with his left foot, in counterattack, in the box, with his head … Even a blind person would realize that he is a fantastic player,” said the Catalan.
The Spanish coach knows who he will be dealing with at the Etihad Stadium. In his last four matches played in the Champions League, Haaland scored… four doubles (two against Bruges, two against Sevilla). He is also the earliest to have reached the 20-goal mark in the history of this competition (14 matches, 10 better than Harry Kane, previous record holder). Figures that give you a headache. And which confirms the idea that the awakening of the Scandinavian machine is undoubtedly not very far away.