Erling Haaland produced a strikers masterclass, scoring four goals as Manchester City thrashed Wolves 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The result means that the defending Champions are just a point adrift of league leaders Arsenal with a game in hand as we approach the business end of the season.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Josko Gvardiol won a penalty following a late challenge from Rayan Ait-Nouri in the penalty box. Haaland scored from the spot to get his side on the scoreboard, but there was no looking back.

Manchester City dominate possession

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated possession all over the pitch as Wolves, with their manager Gary O’Neil suspended and looking on from the box.

Ten minutes before halftime, Haaland made it two with a thumping header from Rodri’s lovely, weighted cross from the right wing.

Right on the stroke of half time, it was more misery for the visitors when City won their second penalty on the day.

After a long VAR check, it was deemed that Nelson Semedo had fouled Haaland after the Norwegian was through on goal and was about to shoot from inside the box. The striker stepped up and made no mistake again to make it 3-0 for the hosts before the break.

Wolves got a goal back in the 53rd minute when Hwang Hee-chan finished from close range and put the ball into an empty net following a poor judgment from Ederson who failed to track the flight of the ball from a cross from the right wing.

Haaland posted a celebratory post on X
Haaland posted a celebratory post on X

Haaland posted a celebratory post on X

Haaland destroys comeback hopes

However, any hopes of a Wolves comeback was completely squashed just seconds later when Haaland scored with a world-class curling effort after bringing the ball down brilliantly from Phil Foden’s cross-field pass.

The 23-year-old almost got his fifth right at the hour mark but Jose Sa made a brilliant stop to tip the ball over the bar following a right-footed effort.

It was Julian Alvarez who made it 5-1 in the 85th minute for City coming on for Haaland to cap off a memorable day for Guardiola’s side.

With three games remaining for City, the defending Champions will feel confident to retain their title with three games left and one in hand, and a point behind Arsenal.

City will take on Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur in two crucial away games in the coming ten days before rounding the season off at home against West Ham. Arsenal, meanwhile, will take on Manchester United next week, a fixture that could decide the fate of the Premier League title.

Earlier on the day, Mikel Arteta’s side beat Bournemouth 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium to go four points clear at the top.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring from the spot right on the stroke of halftime to make it 1-0 for the London side. Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice each scored in the second half to cap off a comfortable 3-0 win while VAR ruled out a Bournemouth goal that will certainly raise eyebrows.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Action Plus