Guardiola hails City strikers after taking control of title fight

Haaland converted a third-minute penalty at Craven Cottage to become the first top-flight player to score 50 goals in all competitions since 1931

By AFP

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Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates his goal with Rodri. — Reuters
Manchester City's Julian Alvarez celebrates his goal with Rodri. — Reuters

Published: Sun 30 Apr 2023, 8:49 PM

Manchester City moved to the top of the Premier League on Sunday as Erling Haaland shattered a 92-year goal landmark while Julian Alvarez scored a stunner to clinch a 2-1 win at Fulham.

Norway striker Haaland converted a third-minute penalty at Craven Cottage to become the first top-flight player to score 50 goals in all competitions since 1931.

"Before Winston Churchill was Prime Minister? Wow. Sounds a long time ago. Congratulations to Erling. The best goal to help us achieve what we want is still there," City boss Pep Guardiola said.

Haaland also moved level with Alan Shearer and Andy Cole's single-season Premier League record total.

Shearer scored 34 for Blackburn in 1995 and Cole hit the same tally for Newcastle in 1994.

Carlos Vinicius equalised for Fulham but Alvarez's first goal in six games, a brilliant long-range effort, lifted City one point clear of second-placed Arsenal.

"The game was so tight until the end. We knew after we beat Arsenal that winning these types of games is really important. The players behaved amazingly," added Guardiola.

"The Alvarez goal was extraordinary. We have incredible strikers."

Treble-chasing City, on top for the first time in 10 weeks, have won their last eight league games and are unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions.

Guardiola's red-hot team, who have a game in hand on Arsenal, need to win five of their last six games to be certain of a fifth title in six seasons.

With Haaland's goal spree showing no signs of slowing, few would bet against them taking advantage of Arsenal's collapse.

"It's important but on Tuesday Arsenal will play. Important is the West Ham game, it's a game in hand. After that we'll be top of the table and it will be more real," Guardiola said.

Arsenal, winless in its last four games, hosts Chelsea on Tuesday, with City at home to West Ham on Wednesday.

Results

Sunday

Bournemouth 4 Leeds 1

Fulham 1 Man City 2

Man United 1 Aston Villa 0

Newcastle 3 Southampton 1


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