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GBR | Apr 30, 2023

Man City beat Fulham to go top as Haaland equals another record

/ Our Today

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Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Manchester City – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – April 30, 2023 Manchester City’s Erling Braut Haaland celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters)

Manchester City claimed the top spot in the Premier League for the first time since February as Erling Haaland reached another set of milestones in a 2-1 victory at Fulham on Sunday.

It took Haaland only three minutes to score his record-equalling 34th Premier League goal of an extraordinary debut season in England, the Norwegian tucking away a penalty.

It moved him level on the Premier League single season scoring record of Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.

The Norwegian also became the first player in England’s top flight to score 50 goals in all competitions in a season since Tom Waring did so for Aston Villa in 1931.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Manchester City – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – April 30, 2023 Manchester City’s Erling Braut Haaland with teammates celebrate after the match Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

City were pegged back in the 15th minute when Carlos Vinicius rifled a shot past Ederson but they responded to the setback to carve out a succession of chances.

Jack Grealish was denied by the crossbar before Argentine forward Julian Alvarez produced a moment of magic to beat Bernd Leno with a right-foot shot from outside the area.

City were unable to give themselves a cushion after the break despite several chances and suffered some anxious moments but they held on for an eighth successive league win.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Manchester City – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – April 30, 2023 Manchester City’s Jack Grealish reacts. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

They are now top with 76 points to Arsenal’s 75 and also have one extra game to play.

Fulham remain in 10th place.

City’s 4-1 demolition of Arsenal on Wednesday had made them red-hot favourites to claim a fifth English title in six seasons under Pep Guardiola but they still began two points adrift of Arsenal as they kicked off at Craven Cottage.

But they were soon in front as Fulham captain Tim Ream brought down Alvarez in the area and Haaland was given the chance to move level with Cole and Shearer — his left-footed penalty giving Leno no chance.

City, who were without the injured Kevin De Bruyne, did not enjoy the lead for long as Vinicius dispatched a bouncing ball beyond Ederson to bring the home crowd alive.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Manchester City – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – April 30, 2023 Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez in action with Fulham’s Antonee Robinson REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Fulham’s Ream was soon to leave the field with his arm in a makeshift sling after a nasty fall and the hosts also lost Andreas Pereira in the second half, the midfielder leaving the pitch on a stretcher with his leg in a brace.

City carved out chances at will with Haaland playing in Grealish in the first half whose shot was pushed by Leno against the crossbar.

But there was nothing Leno could do in the 36th minute when Riyad Mahrez played the ball to Alvarez on the right-hand edge of the area and the Argentine engineered some space before firing a right-foot shot across the Fulham keeper into the net.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Fulham v Manchester City – Craven Cottage, London, Britain – April 30, 2023 Fulham’s Carlos Vinicius in action with Manchester City’s John Stones Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Haaland was denied a record-breaking goal by Leno early in the second half and Alvarez was also thwarted.

City then had some anxious moments with Ederson clawing the ball away from the feet of Vinicius as the striker looked in with a shout of scoring a second Fulham equaliser.

Guardiola’s side managed eight minutes of stoppage time calmly and now that they are ahead, few would bet on them not lifting the trophy yet again next month.

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