Haaland scissor-kicks goal as Man City smothers Southampton

AP , Saturday 8 Apr 2023

Erling Haaland scored twice — including from a spectacular scissor-kick volley — to lead Manchester City to a 4-1 victory over Southampton in the English Premier League and keep the pressure on Arsenal in the title race on Saturday.

Manchester City s Erling Haaland scores his side s third goal during the English Premier League socc
Manchester City s Erling Haaland scores his side s third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton and Manchester City at St Mary s Stadium in Southampton, England, Saturday, April 8, 2023. AP


The Norway striker broke the deadlock with a close-range header in the 45th minute before Jack Grealish made it 2-0 after the restart.

Haaland’s league-leading 30th goal was a beautiful finish with his back to goal as he met Grealish's cross.

The hosts were able to claw only one back through Sekou Mara.

That was quickly canceled out when Kevin De Bruyne was fouled for a penalty, allowing Haaland’s substitute, Julian Alvarez, to score the spot kick.

City moved five points behind Arsenal, which visits Liverpool on Sunday.

One of Haaland’s 28 goals going into Saturday’s game came in the reverse fixture at Etihad Stadium in October against a Saints team then managed by Ralph Hasenhuttl.

Two managers later, and with the sides separated by 41 points, Southampton — now led by Ruben Selles — looked to get something started early on a sunny south coast evening when Carlos Alcaraz took possession at the right of the area but found himself without a viable option at the far post as he sent the ball across the face of goal.

City tested goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu inside the first five minutes as Ilkay Gundogan found Grealish, who forced a good save with a drive from 15 meters out.

The visitors were troubled when an alert Kamaldeen Sulemana intercepted De Bruyne’s short corner inside his own half and broke free, with Nathan Ake in pursuit. Sulemana charged into City’s half but lost control at the end of his run, allowing goalkeeper Ederson to smother the ball.

Though City enjoyed over 70% possession, the hosts did well to largely shut down Haaland, who had taken only four touches as the match approached the 40-minute mark. He doubled that tally by halftime, missing a header before making one count as he connected with De Bruyne’s cross from the left and nodded his 29th goal of the season — six more than Southampton had collectively scored — past Bazunu.

City missed an early chance to double its advantage after the restart when Grealish cut the ball back to Gundogan, who drove into the area but fired just wide of the right post.

But it was not long before Grealish, who had been bright throughout the first period, threatened again as he sent a sharp strike at Bazunu, who made the initial low stop but could not hang on to the rebound.

That proved costly as the England international pounced and fired home before, 10 minutes later, turning provider when he ran into the area before crossing to Haaland, who finished spectacularly.

Saints ensured the visitors would not head home with a clean sheet when substitute Moussa Djenepo neatly evaded two opponents and fed Mara, who sent a low strike past Ederson.

It took City just three minutes to restore its three-goal advantage when Kyle Walker-Peters brought down De Bruyne. The referee pointed to the spot and Alvarez, who had come on for Haaland in the 75th, converted.

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