Haaland's Brace Guides Man City to 3-1 Win over Young Boys
|Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Group Stage match between BSC Young Boys and Manchester City at Stadion Wankdorf on October 25, 2023 in Bern, Switzerland.(Image-Getty)
Erling Haaland, breaking his goal drought, delivered a compelling performance with a second-half brace, propelling reigning champions Manchester City to a 3-1 victory over Swiss side Young Boys. Additionally, Manuel Akanji celebrated his return to his home country with a crucial goal for the City squad.
Despite initial apprehensions regarding the slippery artificial turf at the rain-soaked Wankdorf Stadium, Pep Guardiola's team continued their flawless run in Group G, securing their third consecutive victory.
Reflecting on the match, Guardiola expressed his delight, stating, "It was an exceptional game. I'm just really, really pleased for the way we played; we need one more game to qualify mathematically and then two more to finish first." With a forthcoming rematch against Young Boys scheduled for November 7, City has a chance to secure their place in the knockout stage.
Haaland's breakthrough came in the 67th minute with a penalty, following Mohamed Camara's challenge on Rodri inside the box. Exhibiting his remarkable skills, Haaland added a spectacular second goal, deftly maneuvering the ball from his left foot to his right before blasting it into the top corner in the 86th minute.
Setting a new record, Haaland surpassed Kylian Mbappe as the youngest player to score 37 goals in the Champions League, achieving this feat in 33 games at the age of 23 years and 96 days.
Guardiola commended Haaland's prowess, emphasizing, "It is important to have the chances; the people want him to fail. I am sorry but this guy will score goals all his life, with the chances he is an incredible threat... he is going to score until the last day he plays football."
Despite a series of missed opportunities in the first half, Akanji eventually broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half, capitalizing on Ruben Dias's header rebounding off the crossbar and swiftly directing the ball into the net. However, Young Boys swiftly responded, capitalizing on a momentary lapse by City keeper Ederson, as Meschack Elia's brilliant pass enabled him to scoop the ball over Ederson and equalize.
City's relentless offensive efforts bore fruit, with numerous near misses in the first half culminating in victory. Despite a disallowed goal from Julian Alvarez due to a VAR decision on Jack Grealish's handling of the ball in the build-up, City emerged triumphant.
Currently, Young Boys stand at third place in the group with one point after three matches.