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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 36
May 4, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Wolves logo

Man City
5 - 1

Haaland (12' pen., 35', 45+3' pen., 54'), Alvarez (85')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Hee-chan (53')
Lemina (41'), Semedo (45+2'), Traore (64'), Gomes (66')

Erling Haaland scores four as Manchester City keep pressure on title rivals Arsenal

Haaland scores four as Man City keep pressure on title rivals Arsenal
© Reuters
Erling Haaland scores four goals as Manchester City beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-1 in the Premier League to keep the pressure on title rivals Arsenal.

Manchester City remain within touching distance of Premier League leaders Arsenal after securing a dominant 5-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

Leading marksman Erling Haaland inspired the Citizens to victory with four goals, including a first-half hat-trick - slotting two composed penalties beyond Jose Sa either side of a powerful header at the back post.

Hwang Hee-chan pulled one back for Wolves shortly after half time, but their hopes of a comeback quickly evaporated when Haaland fired home his fourth less than a minute later to restore City's three-goal advantage.

Haaland, who had a plethora of chances to score more in the final half-hour, received a standing ovation as he left the field in the closing stages, before his replacement Julian Alvarez slotted home a fifth to seal a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola's men.

Victory for Man City means they remain second in the table but have moved back to within one point of leaders Arsenal, who beat Bournemouth 3-0 earlier this afternoon, and still have a game in hand on the Gunners.

The Citizens have also extended their impressive unbeaten home run in all competitions to 43 matches, setting a new club record after surpassing the previous 42-game streak set between December 1919 and November 1921.

As for Wolves, they remain 11th in the top-flight standings and their slim hopes of sneaking into the top seven are officially over, after today's defeat and also a 4-1 win for sixth-placed Newcastle United at Burnley. Gary O'Neil's side now sit eight points adrift of Manchester United in seventh with only two games remaining.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland scores their first goal from the penalty spot on May 4, 2024© Reuters

Golden Boot-chasing Haaland strengthens Man City's title hopes

After marking his return from injury with a goal as a substitute in last weekend's 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest, Haaland made his presence felt once again against Wolves after being recalled to Guardiola's starting lineup along with Mateo Kovacic and Phil Foden, the latter returning after recovering from illness.

The champions looked hungry form the off and after a few early chances, Josko Gvardiol was wiped out in the box by Rayan Ait-Nouri after blazing a shot over, giving referee Craig Pawson no other choice but to point to the penalty spot in the 12th minute. Haaland stepped up and sent Sa the wrong way with a confident spot kick.

Man City continued to dominant proceedings, but just as Wolves began to grow into the contest, the Citizens doubled their lead 10 minutes before the break when Rodri clipped a looping cross towards the back post for Haaland to thump a towering header into the far corner.

Guardiola's side were then awarded another penalty on the stroke of half time after Nelson Semedo was penalised, following an on-field VAR review, for a late challenge on Haaland who had burst through on goal.

The Norwegian once again made no mistake from the penalty spot, firing the ball to the right of Sa for a second time to complete his hat-trick, becoming just the third different player to score two first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (the other scored against Nottingham Forest last season), after Andrew Cole and Michael Owen.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal with Bernardo Silva and Rodri on May 4, 2024© Reuters

Haaland ruthless as Wolves lacked cutting edge

Wolves failed to register a single shot on goal in the first half, but they scored with what proved to be their only attempt on target throughout the match five minutes after the break to give them a glimmer of hope.

Substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, who replaced Mario Lemina at half time, burst down the right and whipped an inviting cross into the danger zone, one that Ederson failed to deal with and swatted straight into the path of Hwang to confidently tap home at the back post - his second goal in as many games against City.

Wolves' celebrations were instantly muted, though, as Haaland went up the other end less than a minute later to score his and City's fourth, meeting a lofted through-ball from Foden before shrugging off a challenge from Max Kilman and whipping a powerful strike into the far corner, beating Sa all ends up.

Haaland has now moved onto 25 goals in the Premier League this season and is in the driving seat to win a second successive Golden Boot, as he now sits five clear of his nearest challengers Alexander Isak and Cole Palmer (both on 20 goals).

The visitors were left deflated by City's fourth goal and had great difficulty finding a way through the hosts' resilient backline, while Haaland at the other end had numerous chances to score a fifth.

Not long after having a right-footed shot tipped over by Sa, Haaland was lining himself up for an acrobatic effort, attempting to meet a floated delivery from Foden, but Toti Gomes got his head to the ball first to make a vital clearance.

Man City then rubbed salt into Wolves' wounds when substitute Alvarez rolled a clinical strike into the bottom-right corner five minutes from time to seal three valuable points for Guardiola and co.

The Citizens are next in action against Fulham at Craven Cottage on May 11, the same day Wolves welcome Crystal Palace to Molineux.

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