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Hat-trick hero Haaland paints Manchester blue

Behind the mind-boggling numbers of Erling Haaland in his short yet fruitful spell at Premier League champions Manchester City.

The lanky attacker has played ten times for Man City in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League, passing the acid test with flying colours, and his numbers are as mystifying as they are extraordinary. Haaland's freakish goalscoring returns genuinely beggar belief and he is on course to make and break countless records in the months and years to come.

Haaland, 22, signed with the English champions in the summer and in doing so followed in the footsteps of his father, Alf Inge, who spent three seasons at Maine Road until 2003. Since completing his big-money move from Borussia Dortmund, the second-generation Norway international has scored in all but one of City's ten league and European games this term.

City's no.9 has set the Premier League alight, netting 14 goals in his first eight appearances with a goal every 47 minutes on average. Haaland notched nine goals from five league games during August – more than any player in competition history – and he earned the PL Player of the Month award in his inaugural month playing in the English top flight.

The young forward hit double digits on his sixth outing under Pep Guardiola, the joint-quickest a player has reached the 10-goal milestone in the Premier League. Haaland scored thrice versus Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in back-to-back PL games.

Last time out he completed a treble of three-goal hauls against City's arch rivals Man United, naturally becoming the first Premier League player to register a hat-trick in three successive home matches. He is also the quickest to claim three PL hat-tricks, doing so in just eight matches; Michael Owen was the previous record holder with 48 games.

Haaland doesn't only score at home, though. He was on the scoresheet in all of City's domestic trips to West Ham, Newcastle, Aston Villa, and Wolves (in addition to Sevilla) to become the first player in PL history to score in each of his first four away matches.

Haaland is almost halfway to equalling the record for most goals (32) in a PL season despite less than a quarter of the current campaign being completed. He can't be expected to feature in all 38 matches but maintaining a goal per game ratio greater than 1.00 would see the Norwegian smash through the 40-goal barrier.

Only eight games into this groundbreaking chapter, Haaland has already equalled the hat-trick records of three prolific Premier League winners in Cristiano Ronaldo, Frank Lampard, and Jamie Vardy. Remarkably, Haaland equalled Ronaldo's tally in 224 matches fewer than the Portuguese icon.

Alan Shearer bagged the most hat-tricks in a single Premier League campaign, with five in the 1995/96 season, while the record for most PL hat-tricks (12) belongs to Man City legend Sergio Aguero. The Argentine claimed his first match ball for the Citizens in what was his fourth league game for the club, but would grab a three-goal haul only twice more in his first four years in Manchester.

Haaland is the first City player to score a hat-trick in the Manchester derby in the Premier League, and the first in the top flight since Francis Lee in 1970. Haaland and teammate Phil Foden bagged three apiece as City battered United, 6-3, in the 188th instalment of their rivalry.

Haaland has now found the net in six consecutive league games. Leicester City's Jamie Vardy holds the record for scoring in 12 straight Premier League matches.

Haaland and Foden each scored three against Man United at the Etihad Stadium. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP via Getty Images)

On a continental scale Haaland is the first player to score on both his Premier League debut and Champions League debut for Man City. At Dortmund he netted 86 times in 89 appearances, including 15 goals in 13 Champions League matches.

This term Haaland scored twice at Sevilla and once against former club Dortmund, becoming the quickest player to score 25 goals in the Champions League needing just 20 matches to do so. His predecessors in that regard were Filippo Inzaghi and ex-Man Utd striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, having both notched 25 goals in 30 Champions League games.

Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, and Kylian Mbappé each took 42 games to reach 25 goals in the Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo – the top scorer in the competition's history – required as many as 63 games to register a quarter-century UCL goals.

Norway failed to qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and Haaland will unquestionably dedicate much of those six weeks off towards carrying his early-season form into a crucial period surrounding the new year.

The world is his oyster and it is daunting to just imagine how many goals Erling Haaland will have to his name after 100 appearances in England's top division and Europe's primary club competition.

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