The goals just keep flowing for Erling Haaland and Manchester City, no matter the competition.
Haaland bagged another hat trick to make it eight goals in his last two games as City eased into the FA Cup semifinals with a 6-0 home win over Championship side Burnley on Saturday. That came on the heels of a 7-0 win over Leipzig on Tuesday in the Champions League — when Haaland netted five — showing that City may be hitting another gear as it enters the decisive part of the season.
It was City’s sixth straight win in all competitions, having scored 23 goals in that stretch.
“We are in that part of the season where we should be at our best,” said Haaland, whose extraordinary tally is now at 42 goals in all competitions. “Now is when things get decided.”
City is still in the hunt for three trophies, but while Pep Guardiola’s team are the big favorites in the FA Cup they may need to maintain this kind of form to win the other two. They face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals next month, and could go into the international break eight points behind Arsenal in the Premier League if the Gunners beat Crystal Palace at home on Sunday.
That’s a minor worry, though, compared to the headache facing Antonio Conte at Tottenham.
Conte tore into his players for being “selfish” and launched a tirade against the club’s lack of winning mentality after his team threw away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at last-place Southampton.
That result cost Tottenham a chance to climb provisionally into third place, and made things even tighter in an increasingly intriguing relegation fight that involves no less than nine teams. Only four points now separate 12th-place Palace and Southampton at the bottom of the table.
One win was enough for Leeds to climb from 19th up to 14th after beating Wolverhampton 4-2 away, while Leicester remained firmly entrenched in the relegation struggle despite halting a five-game losing streak in all competitions with a 1-1 draw at Brentford.
That keeps Leicester just one point above the drop zone — and two points ahead of Southampton — while midtable Aston Villa made it three wins in four games with a 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
In the late game, 15th-place Everton twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Chelsea.
HAALAND HAT TRICK
The buildup to Burnley’s visit to the Etihad had all been about its manager Vincent Kompany, the former City captain who already has a statue outside the stadium after winning 10 major trophies with the club.
Haaland may get his own statue before his playing career is even over if he keeps scoring at this rate.
The prolific Norwegian scored his first two goals in a three-minute span shortly after the half-hour mark and completed his hat trick by slotting in a rebound in the 59th.
World Cup winner Julian Alvarez also scored twice while the 20-year-old Cole Palmer got on the scoresheet as Burnley’s resistance collapsed over the last 30 minutes.
Gary Lineker was back on the air to spearhead the BBC’s coverage of the game after being suspended last week for criticizing the U.K. government’s migration policy.
The other three quarterfinals are played Sunday, with Manchester United hosting Fulham in the most notable matchup.
After seeing his players throw away a two-goal lead, Conte did little to quell the speculation that he’s already looking for a way out of the club.
“I see a lot of selfish players. And I don’t see a team,” the Italian manager said after James Ward-Prowse’s injury-time penalty earned Southampton the draw.
And he wasn’t done there, adding that Tottenham’s lack of a winning mentality is deeply rooted within a club whose last trophy came in 2008.
“They are used to it. They don’t play for something important, yeah,” Conte said. “They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It is easy in this way. Tottenham’s story is this. Twenty years there is the (same) owner and they never won something.”
Conte won league titles at Juventus, Inter Milan and Chelsea, but will finish a second season at Tottenham without a trophy. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll be back for a third.
After showing signs of momentum under Graham Potter, Chelsea had another setback against Everton.
The London club’s three-game winning streak in all competitions came to a halt as Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the first equalizer and set up the second for substitute Ellis Simms in the 89th minute.
It was Simms’ first goal for Everton but he showed both composure and confidence as he held off a defender and beat goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a low shot from a tight angle to silence the Stamford Bridge crowd.
“We thought we played well enough to get the three points but ultimately if you don’t defend well, you don’t get the result,” Potter said.