How Erling Haaland is breaking all records… from 7.5 yards

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How Erling Haaland is breaking all records… from 7.5 yards

The Manchester City striker is the ultimate penalty-box predator – and centre-backs are finding it impossible to stop him.

After winning their last two Premier League titles without a striker, the arrival of Erling Haaland has seen Manchester City go in a completely different direction. They now have the ultimate predator who operates solely in the opposition’s penalty area.

It is not just the volume of goals since his £51.2 million summer arrival – which sees him average 1.5 goals per game – but where he has scored them from. None from outside the 18-yard box and mainly from a few yards out.

The tap-ins tell a fraction of the story. It is how he gets into those areas of space that centre-backs have found impossible to stop. It is an ability impossible to train. When he receives the ball to score, he has been on average 7.48 yards from goal.

His movement gives him enough space and his execution has been flawless. His goals against Sevilla last night took him to 25 Champions League goals from just 20 matches and his yards-per-goal ratio would make Filippo Inzaghi proud, the Italian being the master of ice cool close-range finishes and manic celebrations.

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