Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick as Manchester City maintained their perfect Premier League start with a 5-1 thrashing of Fulham on Saturday.
In keeping with the early weeks of the season, Manchester City were good enough for the three points without ever hitting top gear.
The English champions were without manager Pep Guardiola as he recovers from back surgery in his native Catalonia. The home side had not had a shot on target until Julian Alvarez turned home Haaland’s cross to open the scoring on 31 minutes.
Fulham, who were missing influential midfielder Joao Palhinha after his deadline day move to Bayern Munich collapsed on Friday, responded immediately when Tim Ream tapped in from a corner.
City needed a set-piece of their own to restore the lead in controversial circumstances. Nathan Ake’s header was allowed to stand despite Manuel Akanji, who was in an offside position, jumping over the ball.
Haaland then exploded after the break. He became the fastest player to reach 40 Premier League goals, in just 39 appearances, with a cool finish from Phil Foden’s through ball.
The Norwegian then put his missed penalty at Sheffield United last weekend behind him to slot home from the spot. And he made it six goals in five games this season by completing his hat-trick in stoppage time.
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