Soccer

It’s fantastic – Erling Haaland happy to get back among goals for Man City

The prolific Norwegian scored his first goals since returning to action from a foot injury.

Erling Haaland’s double saw Manchester City beat Everton (Rui Vieira/AP)
Erling Haaland celebrates Erling Haaland’s double saw Manchester City beat Everton (Rui Vieira/AP) (Rui Vieira/AP)

Erling Haaland was pleased to get back on the scoresheet as Manchester City’s momentum continued to gather with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Everton.

The prolific Norwegian scored his first goals since returning to action from a foot injury as his late double finally saw off the resilient Toffees at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

It was the champions’ 10th victory in succession in all competitions and briefly took them back to the top of the table prior to rivals Liverpool’s defeat of Burnley later in the day.

With Haaland back in tandem with Kevin De Bruyne, who has also returned from his own lengthy lay-off, last season’s treble winners are in a strong position as they approach the decisive phase of the campaign.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said Haaland, whose first 19 goals of the season came before he was sidelined in early December.

“It’s fantastic to be back and it’s also good to keep on winning. That’s important and we have to keep going.

“We have already been on quite a good run. It is a good thing to start to click now. That’s never bad. It’s in the next few months when you win things, so we keep going.”

City found it tough to break down the stubborn Merseysiders, who are caught up in another relegation battle after their 10-point deduction earlier in the season.

The breakthrough came soon after manager Pep Guardiola introduced the lively De Bruyne and Kyle Walker off the bench, and it was Haaland who delivered the blow as Everton struggled to clear a 70th-minute corner.

Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are back in partnership
Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne are back in partnership (Martin Rickett/PA)

De Bruyne then played in Haaland to secure the result five minutes from time.

“Back to normal finally,” said Haaland. “It’s good to be back to normal.

“We knew how the game was going to be and they were going to make it difficult for us.

“But we knew if we trusted ourselves it was going to be really difficult for (Everton). That’s what we did and in the end it was fantastic to win.”

Everton remain in the bottom three despite having won enough points to have been in a comfortable mid-table position.

Defender James Tarkowski insists the players are not downbeat about the situation.

James Tarkowski, left, took the positives from Everton’s performance
James Tarkowski challenges Erling Haaland James Tarkowski, left, took the positives from Everton’s performance (Martin Rickett/PA)

“There’s no drop-off here,” he said. “We’re ready to go again. Don’t worry about us. We’re ready to go no matter what.

“It’s been a good season for us. I’m not disappointed. We’re going well. We’ve got a few lads coming back soon, so the squad’s looking strong and ready to play.

“I felt we played really well and then just a couple of minor details cost us.”