‘Bonkers’ Haaland breaks 40-goal mark, Conte beats Spurs owners and players after meltdown, Chelsea’s late blow
Unstoppable Erling Haaland broke the 40-goal mark in his first season at Manchester City with a hat-trick in his side’s 6-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
After his five-goal salvo against RB Leipzig midweek, the Norwegian striker again proved insatiable to demolish the leaders at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
The 22-year-old scored striking goals in the 32nd and 35th minutes and completed his sixth hat-trick of the season when he converted a rebound just before the hour to end the tie.
He now has a staggering 42 goals for City since joining from Borussia Dortmund last June.
Julian Alvarez then struck twice with a goal from substitute Cole Palmer in between as City raged to make it to the semis on 13 goals in the week.
It was a sobering day for former City hero Vincent Kompany, who has guided Burnley to the brink of a quick Premier League return after being relegated last year.
Haaland is only the sixth player in the Premier League era to have scored at least 40 goals in all competitions in a season – alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy (44), Mohamed Salah (44), Cristiano Ronaldo (42), Andy Cole (41 ) and Harry Kane (41).
And with City still in three competitions, it certainly won’t be long before he goes past 50.
“He could score 50 goals, maybe even 60. It’s crazy,” Premier League record goalscorer Alan Shearer told the BBC’s Match of the Day live studio.
“Haaland is a beast. He’s a goalscoring machine. He lives and breathes goals.”
Haaland has been more reticent about his extraordinary stats.
“Those were some good last games,” said Haaland, who scored his first FA Cup goals.
“7-0 and 6-0 before the international break are impressive and I’m very happy.
“Every goal means a lot to me and every goal for the team means a lot.”
Burnley had actually gotten along well with City in the first half hour and had created some decent chances.
But when Haaland raced to Alvarez’s through ball and touched the ball past Burnley’s oncoming Bailey Peacock-Farrell to break the deadlock, the writing was on the wall.
Phil Foden’s low cross set up Haaland’s second goal and his hat-trick goal came after Foden’s shot hit the post.
Alvarez also impressed, scoring brilliantly, while youngster Palmer’s goal made it a hugely satisfying day for a City side suddenly on their best days.
The other three FA Cup sixth round ties take place on Sunday: Manchester United at home against Fulham, Sheffield United host Blackburn Rovers and Brighton and Hove Albion host fourth tier side Grimsby Town.
Meanwhile, Leeds have climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a maniacal 4-2 win at Wolves, while Tottenham’s grip on a place in the top four has eased after taking a two-goal lead to a 3-3 draw at the had thrown away last – placed Southampton .
Leeds threatened to squander a 3-0 lead at Molineux on Saturday as the hosts pulled back two goals before dropping to 10 men, but Rodrigo won the game with his fourth goal in added time.
Jack Harrison, Luke Ayling and Rasmus Kristensen also scored for Leeds, while Jonny, a previous goalscorer, was shown red in the 84th minute for a pimple challenge and unused substitute Matheus Nunes, also sacked in added time, was furious at Rodrigo’s goal Foul play not excluded.
It’s just Leeds’ second win in 13 league games and lifts them from 19th to 14th in the extremely tight bottom half of the table.
While the title race has long been a tussle between Arsenal and Manchester City, no fewer than nine sides are at risk of finishing in the bottom three in the relegation battle.
Just four points now separate 12th-placed Crystal Palace and bottom-placed Southampton, who rebounded to a draw at home to Spurs after being awarded a controversial penalty in added time.
James Ward-Prowse netted that free-kick for a point that gives Southampton some hope of avoiding the tumble despite having played at least one game more than most teams directly above them.
It could be a costly collapse for Tottenham, however, as Antonio Conte’s side had a chance to climb Manchester United into provisional third place.
The Spurs manager continued to rant about his players and the club’s ownership afterwards.
“Tottenham’s story is this – 20 years of this owner and they’ve never won anything. Why?” Conte said.
“The fault lies only with the club or with any manager who stays here,” said Conte. “I saw the managers Tottenham had on the bench. You risk disturbing the manager’s figure and protecting the other situation at any moment.
“Until now I’m trying to hide the situation but not now because, I repeat, I don’t want to see what I saw today because it’s unacceptable and also unacceptable for the fans.”
Tottenham have won one trophy since the ownership group chaired by Daniel Levy took over the club in 2001 – the League Cup in 2008.
They’ve had 11 different managers in that time, including three since the departure of Mauricio Pochettino in 2019, which took them to the Champions League final before being sacked six months later.
Conte said it was time for the club and the players to take responsibility.
“Not just the club, the manager and the staff. The players need to be involved in this situation because if Tottenham want to change, it is time to change this situation,” he said.
“If they want to continue like this, they can change managers, many managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.
“Maybe something can change before that in the other games. But here we have long been used to it. The club is responsible for the transfer market, every coach who stayed here is responsible. And the players? The players? Where are the players?
“From my experience I can tell you that if you want to be competitive, if you want to fight, you have to improve that aspect. And that aspect, I can tell you, is really very low right now. And I only see 11 players playing for themselves.”
When asked why that was the case at Tottenham, Conte said: “Because they’re used to it here, they’re used to it. You’re not playing for anything important here. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress.”
Spurs are now just two points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle, who have two games in hand.
Leicester remained firmly entrenched in the relegation battle despite ending a five-game losing streak in all competitions with a 1-1 draw at Brentford, which keeps them just a point above the drop zone and two points ahead of Southampton.
Midfielder Aston Villa claimed three wins in four games with a 3-0 win over Bournemouth.
Ellis Simms scored his first goal for Everton and secured a valuable point for Sean Dyche’s side with a last-minute 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea broke Everton’s resistance seven minutes after half-time when Joao Felix drilled a low drive home, but they were held back when Abdoulaye Doucoure leveled from a corner after 69 minutes.
Everton were evenly matched for just seven minutes before Kai Havertz struck from the spot after Reece James was fouled by James Tarkowski.
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/03/19/bonkers-haaland-smashes-40-goal-barrier-conte-slams-spurs-owners-and-players-after-meltdown-chelseas-late-blow/ 'Bonkers' Haaland breaks 40-goal mark, Conte beats Spurs owners and players after meltdown, Chelsea's late blow