Erling Haaland said “my superpower is scoring goals” after the centre-forward scored five goals to set a club record 39 in a single season as Manchester City beat Leipzig 7-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
City defeated the Bundesliga side 8-1 on aggregate and Haaland became just the third player to score five goals in the Champions League, after Luiz Adriano in 2014 and Lionel Messi in 2012, and 10th since the start of the European Cup.
Related: Great Erling Haaland scores five as Manchester City demolish RB Leipzig
Haaland now has 33 Champions League goals in 25 games – the youngest player to turn 30 at 22 years and 236 days. Surpassing Tommy Johnson’s 38 goals in 1928-29, his quintet managed 35 minutes while the win also hit Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne, setting the club’s best in the competition.
“My superpower? After five goals I have to say score goals,” said Haaland. “It’s a big night – five goals, win 7-0 at home, I’m so happy – my head is a bit blurry so I don’t remember the goals. I was so tired after the celebrations. In my opinion, we should do more – [score] many goals.
“I wasn’t thinking – I was just trying to get the ball in the net. A lot of it is being quick-witted and trying to do the right thing. A bit of it is quality, but a lot is a matter of the mind.”
Haaland joked he didn’t want to be substituted in the second half. “I told Pep on the exit that I would like to score a double hat-trick, but what can you do?”
Guardiola said: “It was a really good performance from the first minute to the end by everyone. Erling was amazing but everyone was exceptional. It’s five in 60 minutes [before replaced] – I don’t know if he should do 90 minutes. He’s an incredible guy with huge talent, strength and mentality, he’s a serial winner. Having a weapon like Erling in this competition is important.”
There was praise for De Bruyne, whom the manager criticized before the game for overcomplicating his game. “Kevin is exceptional,” said Guardiola. “The rhythm he played today, his movement – that’s the Kevin that we know and we haven’t seen that much this season [like this] he is unstoppable.”
Guardiola, who is yet to secure the Champions League title for City, cited Hollywood star Julia Roberts as the reason he may always be considered a failure even if he wins the trophy.
“She’s a hero of mine but even if we win three Champions Leagues in a row I’ll be counted as a failure. I’ll tell you why: five years ago when we were better than Man United and she came to Manchester, she went to United and not us,” he said.