Erling Haaland scored his first English Premier League hat trick as Manchester City came from two goals down to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 on Saturday. (More Football News)
City trailed 2-0 after just 21 minutes against a clinical Palace side — which was looking to its 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium last season — after an own-goal by John Stones and a header by Joachim Andersen.
It was the fourth Premier League game out of the last six in which City had fallen two goals behind, but Pep Guardiola’s team had not lost any of the previous three and went on to win this one in style.
After Bernardo Silva pulled one back eight minutes into the second half, Haaland took over as his first home goals for City came in a hurry. He netted three in the space of 20 minutes to make it six in his first four Premier League matches.
Patrick Vieira was forced to name a starting 11 without Wilfried Zaha due to injury, but the absence of the star forward did not prevent Palace from storming into an early lead as Eberechi Eze’s free kick struck both Kyle Walker and Stones as it spun into the net.
Things got worse for City in the 22nd minute from another set piece. It was Eze again with a corner from which Andersen was left unmarked to power in a header.
Guardiola had been planning two substitutions early in the second half with Ilkay Gundogan and Julian Alvarez both stripped and ready to go, but they sat back down after Silva got City back into it in the 53rd minute.
The Portugal international cut in from the right before hitting a low shot which deflected off Jeffrey Schlupp on its way in.
Gundogan and Alvarez did come on just after the hour and Alvarez quickly made an impact as City leveled in the 62nd. He flicked on a deep cross to Phil Foden, who chipped the ball back in for Haaland, who got across Marc Guehi to head in his first Etihad goal.
Eight minutes later he had his second. From a short corner, Alvarez fed Silva who pulled the ball back for Stones and he rolled it across for Haaland to poke home from a yard out.
Haaland sealed his hat trick with 10 minutes to go. Silva’s through ball found his run perfectly, and the Norwegian had the strength to hold off Joel Ward before firing into the bottom corner. City now have 10 points from four games, with Palace left on four points.