Gary Neville says Erling Haaland is “unplayable” after the Manchester City striker took his goal tally for the club to 17 in just 11 appearances – as the champions ruthlessly thrashed rivals Manchester United 6-3 in the Premier League.
Hat-tricks from Haaland and Phil Foden saw the reigning Premier League champions, who led 4-0 at the break, cruise to victory at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon and prompted a withering assessment from Roy Keane in the Sky Sports studio.
Pep Guardiola hailed Haaland’s determination to “run like an animal” after he maintained his stunning start at Manchester City with a brilliant derby treble.
The prolific Norwegian scored his third hat-trick of the season – and Gary Neville believes the Premier League is witnessing something special evolving at the Etihad Stadium…
To start with, you’ve got to give credit to Manchester City, their football and their outstanding players, their outstanding manager and their striker. Sometimes, you see everything right – the physical attributes, the technical attributes, the attitude. And then you get genuine world-class.
Manchester United had a player on the bench in Cristiano Ronaldo who has been world-class for 10-15 years. But we’re seeing the next generation of world-class player. That’s what we’ve seen here.
I know Phil Foden also scored a hat-trick, he’s a local boy and he should be incredibly proud. He’s a brilliant English player but Erling Haaland is something completely different.
We’re in the presence of something really special and I think we know that with the numbers he’s hit at the start of this season. He makes very difficult things look very easy.
He’s unplayable. That’s the takeaway from the game. Obviously, well done to Manchester City and we’ve seen some fantastic players at this club with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero – many great players. But this player has the ability to be something that peaks everything.
I didn’t expect him to be anything other than what he was when I met him in midweek. He’s confident but humble. He was relaxed. There were no problems with him… he was an hour late! But I enjoyed speaking with him for half an hour.
City were playing well and were dominant but Haaland took the game by the scruff of the neck. We’ve seen City dominant for five, six, seven years, whatever it’s been. But then you combine that explosion with the possession they have, and it’s different.
He has the ability to take games away from teams on his own. The great players have the ability to either pull a game back when it never looks likely or in games which are 1-0 all of sudden become 4-0.
It wasn’t a surprise to me to learn he’d had the lowest number of touches in the City team as he’d hardly been in the game – and that’s become the norm now. The one thing I spoke to him about the other day was that for a young player he has great patience.