Erling Haaland makes the whole world jealous! Man City winners & losers as one-of-a-kind striker smashes another record in win over West Ham

Erling Haaland slide Manchester City West Ham
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Spare a thought for Premier League greats such as Alan Shearer and Andy Cole after Haaland shattered their long-running joint-scoring record

Erling Haaland already has a huge list of records and achievements in his first season in English football but perhaps the most striking thing he has done has been to make his predecessors look ordinary.

So many strikers have graced the Premier League stage. And none have taken over with same robot-like efficiency of the Norwegian.

Haaland scored his 35th goal of the season on Wednesday as Manchester City beat West Ham 3-0 to reclaim top spot in the Premier League table from Arsenal. The delicate finish, bookended by an opening header from Nathan Ake and a deflected Phil Foden volley, moved him past Alan Shearer and Andy Cole as the top scorer in the Premier League in a single season.

Cole struck 34 goals in his first top-flight campaign with Newcastle in 1993-94 while Alan Shearer did the same the following year with Blackburn.

But by the standards of Haaland, who has averaged more than a goal per game in his debut season with City and scores every 71 minutes, the two retired strikers are inefficient in front of goal.

Haaland is only 22 and can go down as the best out-and-out striker in the history of the game. And spare a thought for the clubs who failed to spot how good he truly was, both when he was scoring for fun for Borussia Dortmund or when he was tearing up the Norwegian top-flight as a 17-year-old.

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

  1. WINNER: Erling Haaland

    WINNER: Erling Haaland

    Pep Guardiola recalled after the game that some people suggested the striker might not be able to adapt to the Premier League after a rusty debut in the Community Shield against Liverpool.

    The ensuing months have shut those people up, right?

    At only 22 years of age, the Norwegian has achieved more in one season than even the very best players have in their entire careers.

    The striker has the football world at his feet and can do almost anything he wants.

    He has practically clinched the Golden Boot for this season and is certain to also win the European Golden Shoe for being the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues.

    If he stays at City for the next four years, barring injury, then he should be aiming to match or beat Thierry Henry's record of five Golden Boots.

    And he should be targeting winning the Ballon d'Or. His work might be cut out this time because Lionel Messi led Argentina to the 2022 World Cup but he can give him a run for his money, especially if he helps City win the Champions League.

  2. LOSER: Alan Shearer and other all-time greats
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    LOSER: Alan Shearer and other all-time greats

    Spare a thought for Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, whose record of scoring the most goals in a Premier League season was shattered by Haaland.

    While they had 42 matches in a season to score 34 goals in 1993-94 and 1994-95, respectively, Haaland has beaten their tally in 33 matches, having only been available for 31.

    These giants of the game, who made the Premier League the global success it is today, have been put in the shade by Haaland.

    Admittedly they played in an era when the league was far more competitive, and they did not play in a team nearly as dominant as City.

    But they also played at a time when the quality of defences was worse, when opposition analysis was not as thorough as it is today.

    Cole, Shearer and the likes of Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy should still be regarded as some of the best players to have graced English football.

    But one can't help but feel that their career heights will be one day be matched or even bettered by Halaand.

  3. WINNER: Man City's title bid
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    WINNER: Man City's title bid

    The 3-0 scoreline does not tell the full story of this game, and this was far from the cakewalk it looked like by the time Foden scored City's third goal.

    West Ham played as City might have predicted, defending deep and allowing the hosts very little space in the final third.

    For the first time in six league games, they failed to score in the first half.

    But they still ended up winning comfortably, and once Nathan Ake had scored the opening goal, there was only going to be one outcome.

    The final result would have been demoralising for any watching Arsenal fans who were hoping for a miracle.

    Even though City were far from their best, they got the job done and picked up another three points for their title bid.

    They have an easier run in than Arsenal and an extra game to play.

    On this evidence, only the most optimistic of Gunners fans will believe they still have a chance of catching Pep Guardiola's side.

  4. LOSER: Real Madrid, Man Utd and other clubs who missed out on Haaland
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    LOSER: Real Madrid, Man Utd and other clubs who missed out on Haaland

    As City players gave Haaland a guard of honour, what must Florentino Perez and his fellow Real Madrid directors have been thinking?

    Madrid were City's biggest rivals to sign Haaland last summer but eventually pulled out of the race as they believed they would be getting Kylian Mbappe instead.

    But the France striker left Los Blancos feeling badly burned when he opted to renew his contract with PSG, and by that time City had already sewn up their deal to sign the Norwegian.

    Madrid may end up regretting that decision even more when they face City next week in the Champions League semi-finals.

    But all of Europe's top clubs missed a trick by not targeting Haaland earlier, when he was in the infancy of his career, and will be feeling quite jealous now.

    Manchester United followed him when he was playing under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Molde aged 17 but did not move quick enough and RB Salzburg instead landed him in 2018.

    The Austrians and Borussia Dortmund did at least get to enjoy the hitman's goals for a couple of years, although it looks like City have him at the peak of his powers.

    Their gain is the loss of their rivals in England and across Europe.

  5. WINNER: Nathan Ake
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    WINNER: Nathan Ake

    Until Haaland struck, the Dutchman was on course to take all the plaudits.

    In his first match in three weeks and his first since suffering a muscle injury against Bayern Munich, the Dutchman looked like he had never been away.

    He was as dominant as usual on the left of City's defence, holding his own against a powerhouse such as Michail Antonio.

    And as City were struggling to break down David Moyes' deep-lying defence, he leapt highest to meet Riyad Mahrez's cross and score the opening goal.

    Although City managed to win their three matches without him, they are undeniably a stronger outfit with the Dutchman.

    His return comes in the nick of time, a week before the first leg of the semi-final with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

  6. LOSER: West Ham
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    LOSER: West Ham

    The Hammers' preparations for an already daunting game were rocked by Declan Rice, Tomas Soucek and Nayef Aguerd being hit by a sickness bug which swept through the team.

    Moyes and his side coped with the setback as well as they could, and, despite the scoreline, this was not an embarrassing performance.

    Moyes seemed pleased with how well his side defended, even as he cursed the fact they gave away the opening goal from a set piece.

    But his side remain in a very tricky situation, only four points clear of the relegation zone with four games left.

    Even if they avoid the drop, it will have been a desperately disappointing season.

    After finishing sixth in the 2020-21 season and seventh in the last campaign, not to mention reaching the semi-finals of the Europa League, West Ham should have been aspiring to cement their place in the top six.

    They spent big money on Gianluca Scamacca and Lucas Paqueta, but both players, especially the Italian striker, have failed to deliver.

    Moyes has achieved so much in his second stint with the club but it is also a sign of his limitations as a manager that he hasn't been able to build on that success, with the team going backwards instead of forwards.