Erling Haaland of Manchester City became the first player to score three consecutive hat-tricks at home in the Premier League as Manchester United was humiliated in the derby at Etihad Stadium.
Phil Foden scored his first treble for City as they narrowed the distance on pace-setters Arsenal to one point. Haaland’s rogue start to the season continued as he made it 17 goals in 11 starts – a goal every 54 minutes – since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund.
After their recent progress, United received a harsh reality check as the defending Premier League champions ran riot to highlight the difference in caliber between the teams.
After eight minutes, Foden headed in a cross from Bernardo Silva to reward City for their quick start, and 11 minutes before halftime, Haaland unavoidably entered the fray with a header from a corner.
Haaland added a third goal in response to a United lull thanks to a brilliant ball from Kevin de Bruyne, then switched roles to set up Foden’s easy goal just before halftime.
United’s new acquisition Antony scored a spectacular strike from 25 yards to equalize, but that just encouraged City to pick up the pace again. Haaland scored his third goal from Sergio Gomez’s pass, and he later demonstrated his ability as a creator by setting up Foden for City’s sixth goal.
After scoring hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest at home, Haaland’s third put him in the record books.
On a day of humiliation for the guests and their manager Erik ten Hag and joy for City and Pep Guardiola, Anthony Martial’s late goal for United and his added-time penalty were both met with almost complete silence.
This was a terrifying show of firepower from the defending champions as they cemented their standing as firm favorites to win a fifth title in six years, despite the fact that Arsenal are deserving leaders of the Premier League.
City were undoubtedly strong before Haaland joined the team, but he has elevated them to a new level by adding the element they may have been lacking by increasing the number of chances they take with his merciless finishing.
It is difficult to see how they can be stopped when you combine the ingenuity and on this particular day, the goals, of Foden with the brilliance of De Bruyne. Haaland also appears to have the potential to be the last piece that may deliver the Champions League to the Etihad.
As City raced out to an early lead and led 4-0 at the break, United was mercifully released when referee Michael Oliver blew for halftime.
United’s goal prompted City to respond, and Antony’s superb goal only served as the starting point for another flurry that culminated in Haaland’s record-breaking third.
Abject Man Utd humiliated them.
Four straight league victories had Manchester United optimistic when they arrived at the Etihad, but their aggressive neighbors brought them back to reality.
As soon as the game began, United appeared to be out of their element. They had to survive three goal-line clearances in quick succession before Foden set the tone for the rest of the afternoon by gliding Silva’s cross past a hapless David de Gea.
Ten Hag persisted with Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, and Bruno Fernandes in midfield despite the temptation to start with Casemiro, a £70 million Real Madrid acquisition.