A force of nature reared up behind Josko Gvardiol. The Leipzig central defender wanted to clear the ball that bounced off the crossbar with his head, but he had no chance. Gvardiol couldn't even jump up because Erling Haaland had already started to fly. The Manchester City striker rammed the ball into the goal to make it 2-0 and made his Leipzig opponent look like a youth player.
The 22-year-old had taken the lead with a penalty just 77 seconds earlier – it was the fastest brace in Champions League history. But the world-class striker wasn't satisfied with two goals, just before the break he scored to make it 3-0. Haaland and City rolled over Leipzig in the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League. The 7-0 was also deserved at this level - Leipzig was inferior in all respects and completely overwhelmed over 90 minutes. "There was a lot missing, it wasn't good enough today. I don't want to make excuses. It hurts. Manchester are a fantastic team - we didn't have a chance, to be honest," said Leipzig's Emil Forsberg.
Haaland gave Ilkay Günndogan the fourth goal, but then struck again - in the 54th minute the Norwegian made it 5-0 with his fourth goal. And Haaland kept doing Haaland things - the 6-0 just three minutes later.
Then Manchester manager Pep Guardiola seemed to take pity on the visitors and dismissed the five-goal scorer in the 63rd minute to thunderous applause from the fans. "We were eaten out there 7-0, I haven't lost in my career yet, that's a very bitter evening. Physically, Haaland is a brutally strong player, he is very difficult to defend," said Leipzig full-back Benjamin Henrichs.
Only Lionel Messi, once in a 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen, and Luiz Adriano in Shakhtar Donetsk's jersey had scored five goals before Haaland in a Champions League game. The Brazilian scored five goals 7-0 in October 2014 against Bate Borisov.
“It was just a size too big for us today. We never got into the game today, the result is bitter. City was more alert, alert and ready. I know Erling very well. We had to experience his qualities bitterly today," said Leipzig coach Marco Rose.