Haaland Breaks UCL Dry Spell with Double as Man City Defeats Young Boys

Erling Haaland breaks his goal drought with a stunning double, and Manuel Akanji marks his return home with a goal as Manchester City, the reigning champions, take a significant step towards the Champions League knockout stage with a 3-1 victory against Swiss outfit Young Boys.

Despite pre-game worries about the artificial turf at Bern’s Wankdorf Stadium, Pep Guardiola’s squad extends their unblemished Group G record to three wins in as many matches. Guardiola lauds the exceptional performance and mentions that one more win will seal their spot in the knockout stage.

Pep Guardiola expressed his delight, saying, “It was a remarkable game, and I’m genuinely thrilled with our performance. We only need one more game to secure our mathematical qualification.”

Manchester City has an opportunity to secure their spot in the knockout stage when they face Young Boys once more, this time at home on November 7.

Erling Haaland, ending his six-game Champions League goal drought, netted a penalty in the 67th minute following Mohamed Camara’s foul on Rodri in the box.

The City’s prolific goal-scorer showcased his brilliance with a stunning second goal in the 86th minute, transitioning the ball from his left foot to his right before placing it into the top corner of the net.

Credit by:espn.com

Haaland, the record-breaker, added another feather to his cap on Wednesday, surpassing Kylian Mbappé as the youngest player to score 37 Champions League goals. At 23 years and 96 days, the Norwegian striker achieved this milestone in just 33 games.

Pep Guardiola emphasized Haaland’s potency, stating, “Having opportunities is crucial; despite doubters, this guy will keep scoring throughout his career. With the chances he gets, he’s an incredible threat – he’ll score until his last day in football.”

Manchester City experienced a series of near misses in the first half, but Manuel Akanji eventually broke the deadlock three minutes into the second half. Rúben Dias’s header hit the crossbar, and Swiss defender Akanji capitalized, booting the ball in with a high right-leg swing.

However, Young Boys managed to level the score four minutes later, taking advantage of City goalkeeper Éderson’s positioning with Meschack Elia’s well-placed shot.

City’s goal felt inevitable given their numerous first-half near misses, including a dropped curling shot from Jack Grealish that Matheus Nunes nearly bundled into the net before Loris Benito cleared it off the line.

Defender Rico Lewis acknowledged the importance of converting chances, stating, “That’s how it goes; if you don’t take those opportunities, it can be tough. In the end, our forwards capitalized on their chances, securing the win.”

City’s Julián Álvarez had a goal disallowed following a VAR review that revealed Grealish had handled the ball in the build-up.

After three matches, Young Boys currently stand in third place in the group with one point.

Reference:

https://www.reuters.com/sports/soccer/haaland-brace-lifts-man-city-3-1-win-over-young-boys-champions-league-group-2023-10-25/

https://onefootball.com/en/news/young-boys-1-3-man-city-haaland-ends-cl-goal-drought-as-guardiolas-men-move-onto-nine-points-38450153

https://www.thescore.com/chlg/news/2745839

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