News Matches
Manchester City

Haaland hat-trick hero! Manchester City's winners, losers and ratings as champions complete another thrilling comeback

2:41 PM SGT 28/8/22
Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23
Erling Haaland scores a sensational hat-trick as Manchester City fight back from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace 4-2.

There was still some thought that Erling Haaland would need time to adjust to the Premier League even after three goals in three games - not anymore.

The Norwegian striker has dispelled those last, lingering concerns with a brilliant hat-trick as Manchester City completed a stunning turnaround at the Etihad Stadium.

For the fourth time in six Premier League matches, City found themselves two goals behind and staring down the barrel.

They haven't lost any of them, and for a second time they've turned that stark losing position into a victory.

Bernardo Silva's deflected strike brought them back into the game: then enter Haaland with a 19-minute hat-trick to secure the three points.

"These games are why I'm here - to turn things around when there are difficult times," he said.

  • Erling Haaland Manchester City Crystal Palace 2022-23

    The Winners

    Erling Haaland

    It doesn't matter in what league or what country the Norwegian striker plays, he just scores goals.

    Haaland has a supernatural ability to be in the right place at exactly the right time.

    The 22-year-old turned the game on its head as he gained a yard of space to turn in Phil Foden's cross before reacting to John Stones' mishit to put City ahead.

    But his hat-trick goal was the best of the lot, as he used his strength to bundle Palace defenders out of the way before smashing in a finish of unerring quality.

    Only former Chelsea striker Diego Costa can better his tally of six goals in his first four Premier League outings, and you get the feeling that Haaland is really only warming up.

    Pep Guardiola

    After completing his hat-trick, the City manager replaced Haaland and he looked as proud of his player as father Alfie probably did, sitting in the stands.

    Guardiola worked wonders to land the title without a number nine, but how grateful he must be to now have one as good as Haaland to call upon.

    City failed to score home or away against Palace last season and they were restricted to half-chances in the first half.

    But having such a striker gives Guardiola options, as well as a match-winner who can change a game with his natural goalscoring instinct and this was perhaps a contest they might not have won in the past.

    Julian Alvarez

    The Argentinian was signed as a striker but he will have known that he was always likely to play second fiddle to Haaland.

    Guardiola has said his opportunities will come and when the schedule steps up to two games a week, he is certain to get starts.

    But trailing 2-1, Alvarez was introduced and played in an unusual space between Phil Foden on the left wing and Haaland in the middle.

    It was high risk but gave Palace's defence even more to worry about with another attacker in an unorthodox position and he made the most of the chance.

  • Patrick Vieira

    The Losers

    Patrick Vieira

    The man who knew how to frustrate Guardiola suddenly had no way of stopping him.

    Last season the Palace boss prevented City scoring in two matches, including a smash-and-grab victory at the Etihad Stadium.

    At 2-0 and reasonably comfortable, he looked like he was going to pull off yet another incredible win to add to his burgeoning reputation.

    Vieira might feel unfortunate that his side weren't able to add a third as a Jordan Ayew goal was ruled out, although neither he nor his players made much of a fuss, and once the City juggernaut started, there was no way of putting on the brakes.

    Set-piece defending

    For many coaches, the strategy to get points at the Etihad is to sit deep and hope to make the most of any corners and free-kicks on the rare occasions they come around.

    Guardiola knows that well and while the pretty side of his football will always be highlighted, his players are ready to put their heads in to deal with those types of situations.

    So it will be alarming that both of Palace's goals came from set-pieces and everyone defending the situation will have to take their share of the blame.

    It will be on the training schedule ahead of Wednesday's clash with Nottingham Forest as City won't get away with going two goals down every time, and a quick return to clean sheets will be a priority.

    Joachim Andersen

    The Danish defender was brilliant for 45 minutes and scored a superb header to put his side two goals ahead.

    After keeping Liverpool's Darwin Nunez quiet at Anfield and luring him into a red card, he was strong against Haaland.

    A kick in the head from the striker in the first half could have even had Haaland sent off although Vieira had no complaints about the decision.

    But it was his fellow Scandinavian that had the last laugh and that was tough on Andersen after an outstanding performance.

  • Manchester City Crystal Palace

    Ratings: Defence

    Ederson (4/10):

    No chance with either of the goals, but the first came from poor handling when he raced out to stop a ball over the top and he was careless when a throw-out was blocked that could have been given as a goal.

    Kyle Walker (6/10):

    Not as difficult an afternoon as he had at Newcastle the previous weekend, but still struggled to dominate Eberichi Eye in their first-half duel.

    John Stones (6/10):

    Has looked rusty since the start of the season. Knew little about his own goal and looked uneasy in the first 45 minutes although he improved on the ball after half-time.

    Ruben Dias (6/10):

    The whole side was culpable for City's inability to defend set-piece but the Portuguese centre-back was flat-footed for both crosses.

    Joao Cancelo (6/10):

    Guardiola was screaming for more width and more height from the full-back as his side struggled to stretch Palace, and he was withdrawn in the second half.

  • Manchester City

    Midfield

    Rodri (7/10):

    Performed his usual role of controlling the middle of the pitch and Palace's most threatening moments came when they bypassed him.

    Kevin De Bruyne (7/10):

    He was trying to make things happen in the first half and helped unlock Palace, although he unusually failed to register an assist.

    Bernardo Silva (8/10):

    Hard work matched with great skill helped City onto the front foot after he had weaved his way past the visitors for the crucial first.

  • Haaland

    Attack

    Riyad Mahrez (6/10):

    Did his job of staying close to the touchline in the first half and the only criticism was that the final ball wasn't there, but mainly because the visitors made it so difficult.

    Erling Haaland (9/10):

    The perfect predator. Had to be patient for his opportunities but when he came he made no mistake to claim what could be the first of many hat-tricks.

    Phil Foden (8/10):

    Was criticised for not passing to Haaland in his last two matches but made amends with a perfect delivery for City's equaliser before filling in seamlessly at left-back to close out the win.

  • Julian Alvarez

    Subs & Manager

    Julian Alvarez (7/10):

    Has had to wait to make an impact but took his opportunity with a lively 30-minute cameo.

    Ilkay Gundogan (7/10):

    A reputation for influencing matches as a substitute continues to grow and he played a perfect pass for Haaland's third.

    Sergio Gomez (6/10):

    His first-team debut and looked happy taking up positions as an inverted full-back and hit one fierce strike over the bar.

    Cole Palmer: (n/a):

    An 89th minute change.

    Pep Guardiola (8/10):

    Was frustrated by his side's performance in the first half but acted swiftly to makes changes that helped stretch Palace and eventually overrun them.