Guardiola on Haaland: If he achieved this milestone, he would be bored
Pep Guardiola joked that he took Erling Haaland off one goal short of a double hat-trick as Manchester City thrashed RB Leipzig 7-0 to make sure he still has at least one target left to chase.
The Norwegian striker sent records tumbling in a ruthless display as he scored five in 35 minutes, becoming the youngest player to reach 30 goals in the Champions League and the fastest to do it and joining only Lionel Messi and Luiz Adriano in scoring five in a single Champions League match.
Haaland completed his hat-trick in first-half stoppage time after two in the space of two minutes midway through the first half, the first a contentious penalty, and then added two more in the 53rd and 57th minutes, with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne getting the others as City won 8-1 on aggregate.
But Haaland was replaced by Julian Alvarez just after the hour, and afterward said: “I told him [Guardiola] when I went off, I’d love to score a double hat-trick – but what can I do!”
Asked why he made the switch, Guardiola said: “If he achieved this milestone at 22, 23 years old, it will be boring, his life. Now he has a target, that’s why I make the substitution."