The ONLY man capable of stopping Erling Haaland is Pep Guardiola! Winners & losers as Man City's subbed destroyer brings up goal No.47 inside 45 minutes

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Guardiola Haaland multiple Man City Leicester
Erling Haaland struck twice in Man City's 3-1 win over Leicester and another hat-trick beckoned until Guardiola hauled the striker off at half-time

Erling Haaland is making a mockery of other Premier League strikers.

Mohamed Salah's 32 goals in the 2017-18 season was held up as an anomaly in modern football but Haaland has already equalled the Egyptian's mark after bagging two goals against struggling Leicester in the space of 12 minutes.

It is scary to think how many goals he might end the season on after grabbing his 47th strike in all competitions.

And just imagine how many more goals he might have scored if Guardiola wasn't so keen to take him off so early in matches?

John Stones also had an afternoon to remember - as well as a nice rest after half-time - as he underlined his brilliant form with a cracking strike from outside the area to get City off the mark.

Leicester may have given City a small fright at the end after Kelechi Iheanacho pulled a goal back but overall this was a very comfortable afternoon for City.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from the Etihad Stadium.

  1. WINNER: John Stones
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    WINNER: John Stones

    The defender has had a long and varied career at City.

    In his first couple of years he was mocked for giving the ball away too often and was then usurped by Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte.

    But he has reinvented himself since the World Cup as an auxiliary holding midfielder and a right back.

    He got the ball rolling for City with a stunning strike from outside the area, not something he is usually known for. It showed how confident he is right now, thriving in his new role and feeling important again in his seventh season at the club.

  2. LOSER: Arsenal
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    LOSER: Arsenal

    Pep Guardiola remarked on Friday that he did not expect Arsenal to drop many points in the run-in as they have the advantage of only focusing on the title race, unlike his treble-chasing side.

    But on this evidence, City being involved on three fronts is little hindrance to their title chances.

    They steamrollered Leicester, at least in the first half, allowing Guardiola to take off significant pieces of his starting line-up early in the game.

    Arsenal may be three points clear but watching City in the form they are in right now must be demoralising.

    City look utterly at ease no matter who they are playing and, aside from the title showdown against Arsenal later this month, have a relatively straightforward final stretch.

    The only other matches that at least on paper look tricky are the visits to Brighton and Fulham, with home games against Leeds, Chelsea and West Ham expected to be simple wins.

  3. WINNER: Erling Haaland
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    WINNER: Erling Haaland

    The Norwegian has 14 goals in his last six matches. His brace on Saturday saw him equal Mohamed Salah's record of 32 goals in a 38-game Premier League season and he still has eight more games to add to his tally.

    He is set to obliterate Salah's record and it won't be long before he beats Andy Cole and Alan Shearer's record of 34 goals in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, when there were 42 matches.

    His efficiency in front of goal is also frightening. He has scored 16 goals with his last 21 shots, and every game the question is not if he will find the net, but when.

    He could have had even more goals had he not been taken off at half-time but he was smiling on the bench in the second half and Guardiola praised his attitude after the match.

  4. LOSER: Leicester's board
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    LOSER: Leicester's board

    Brendan Rodgers became the 12th manager to change jobs when he was sacked by Leicester earlier this month, swiftly followed by Graham Potter being fired by Chelsea.

    And just as with so many of the clubs to have dispensed with their manager, there has been no visible improvement at Leicester since Rodgers was sacked, either under caretaker Adam Sadler or new permanent coach Dean Smith.

    Of course, this was only Smith's first match in charge and he will need plenty more time and less daunting opponents before he is judged.

    But there was no sense that Leicester players felt a breath of fresh air by the change.

    In fact, in the first half they looked even more abject and hopeless than they had in Rodgers' final few games.

    They did improve after half-time but that was mostly down to City becoming so complacent.

    And is Smith, who nearly got relegated with Villa and then couldn't keep Norwich up, really an upgrade on the man who led Leicester to FA Cup glory and secured European football two years in a row?

  5. WINNER: Pep Guardiola
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    WINNER: Pep Guardiola

    The manager warned his side on Friday that if they failed to beat Leicester they would be out of the title race.

    It sounded dramatic but it was an effective way of ensuring his side stayed on their toes.

    They were ruthless in the first half, getting three goals before the break before inevitably taking it easy in the second half.

    Guardiola took full advantage by making five changes by the 74th minute, ensuring his team are refreshed for the second leg against Bayern.

    And he has managed to keep his players happy. Not many players in the form that Haaland was in would appreciate being taken off at half-time (Lionel Messi hated being substituted prematurely for Barcelona) but not many coaches command the respect Guardiola does.

    In his seventh season with City his hunger has not been sated and he is pursuing what could be a fifth league title while also going deep in the Champions League and FA Cup.

    He is in a league of his own.

  6. LOSER: Pep Guardiola
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    LOSER: Pep Guardiola

    No, it's not a typo - Guardiola is a winner and a loser.

    He may have overseen another (relatively) comfortable victory while keeping his players rested and refreshed, but he denied the City fans and everyone watching on television another Haaland goal feast.

    It is not the only time he has taken off the striker when he is in a deadly mood. We've known for some time that defenders and goalkeepers are no match for Haaland. Indeed, the only man capable of preventing the Norwegian from scoring is his manager.

    For once, it would be a pleasant surprise if the manager gives the people what they want, which is for Haaland to keep scoring and scoring.