Haaland hooked! Man City's top scorer subbed at half-time during Aston Villa thrashing
- City dropped to third before kick-off
- A win will put them second
- Cruising to three points before Haaland came off
WHAT HAPPENED? Things were going swimmingly well for City during the first half against Villa with goals from Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez putting the home side up 3-0. However, during the break – despite having registered an assist for Gundogan's goal – Haaland was taken off for Julian Alvarez, while Manuel Akanji also came on for Ruben Dias.
The Norwegian took a knock at one point in the half after running into Emiliano Martinez, and after receiving treatment he was able to carry on without any visible discomfort. City are due to face Arsenal on Wednesday night at the Emirates Stadium, and fans will have a nervous wait to learn if Haaland has suffered a fitness blow ahead of the top-of-the-table clash.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Tension at the Etihad Stadium was already palpable with fans showing their defiance following the Premier League's financial charges with banners and chants in support of the club. And while the game was in control thanks to the three-goal lead, Haaland's substitution could be another thing to worry about on an ever-growing list.
DID YOU KNOW? For all his brilliant goalscoring feats, the striker hasn't quite had it all his own way in recent weeks. For instance, in last weekend's loss at Spurs, he failed to have a single effort on goal – something he'd not managed since playing for Borussia Dortmund against Duisburg way back in 2020.
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WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? Seeing as Guardiola's men play Arsenal away from home on Wednesday night and come into the game trailing the league leaders, they won't want to be without Haaland, who is the division's top scorer with 25 goals to his name.