Haaland scores brace in City’s first Premier League game of the season

Erling Haaland has begun his second season in English football much like his first, scoring two goals as Manchester City began their title defence with a win in the Premier League.

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The Norwegian striker scored in the fourth and 36th minutes as City comfortably secured a 3-0 win against newly-promoted side Burnley. The team is being led by former City star Vincent Kompany. Midfielder Rodri added scored the team’s other goal.

Haaland had an outstanding debut year at City in 2022-23, with 52 goals across all competitions, including 36 in the league. In the process, Pep Guardiola’s side won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League.

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Just like in the previous season, Haaland began this season with a brace against West Ham. Now, City aim to be the first team in English football history to secure four consecutive top-flight league titles.

Kevin De Bruyne, back in the starting lineup after a hamstring injury, only played briefly before being replaced. The prolific midfielder appeared to be in some discomfort before walking out.

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Haaland wasted no time in making an impact, scoring with his first touch of the game. He connected with Rodri’s header from a cross delivered by De Bruyne from the right-wing and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner.

The Norwegian’s second goal was even better. Julian Alvarez set up a cross from Kyle Walker, and Haaland executed a shot that hit the underside of the crossbar before finding the top corner of the net. Haaland had gone without a goal in his last six matches for City, including the Community Shield loss to Arsenal in a penalty shootout.

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Rodri, who previously scored the winning goal for City in the Champions League final against Inter Milan in June, hammered home the third goal from close range in the 75th minute after Burnley failed to clear a free kick into the penalty area.

Burnley finished the match with 10 players when Moroccan winger Anass Zaroury was shown a direct red for a tackle on Walker in stoppage time. Initially, the referee awarded him a yellow card but changed it after reviewing the incident on the monitor.

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City, which introduced centre-back Josko Gvardiol as a second-half substitute, will now face Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday. The game features the winners of the previous season’s Champions League and Europa League.

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