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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Haaland hits FA Cup hat-trick as Man City rout Burnley

Erling Haaland scored his second hat-trick in five days as Manchester City cruised into the FA Cup semi-finals by hammering Championship leaders Burnley at Etihad Stadium.

Haaland followed his five-goal haul against RB Leipzig in the Champions League by claiming another three to take his tally for the season to 42.

The Norwegian is now just two short of the record jointly held by Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mohamed Salah for the most goals in a season for an English top-flight club in all competitions during the Premier League era.

Julian Alvarez added two goals and substitute Cole Palmer also scored on a sobering night for former City skipper Vincent Kompany, whose Burnley side have surged 13 points clear at the top of the Championship.

Burnley did well in the first half but could not match Haaland’s staggering efficiency in front of goal.

City opened up in the second period though, underlining the chasm in class between England’s top two divisions.

“He is at the right place for his development because he is still very young,” said Burnley boss Kompany of Haaland. “He will get better – he has the right coach and the right mindset.

“I have played against the greats. They are part of a special elite. The very best find it difficult to stop these guys. They keep finding a way. He looks like a superstar who is willing to improve and that is exciting to see. The goalscoring record puts you in a certain bracket – it is the hardest part of the game.”

It will be City’s sixth semi-final appearance in seven seasons under Pep Guardiola, and on this form few will argue against them lifting the trophy for only the second time in that period as they retain hopes of completing the Treble.

The draw for the FA Cup semi-finals takes place on Sunday following Brighton’s tie against Grimsby Town (14:15 GMT), live on BBC One.

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