Erling Haaland has made quite a mark in the Premier League since joining Manchester City. Last season, he showcased his remarkable goal-scoring prowess by netting an impressive tally of 36 goals in 35 matches. Along his remarkable journey of finding the back of the net, the Norwegian sensation managed to shatter multiple records.
Nevertheless, there were three opponents who managed to thwart Haaland’s goal-scoring efforts across both legs of play. In the grand picture, Haaland faced off against a total of 19 teams in the Premier League, successfully scoring against 16 of them. Notably, he also managed to score against all three teams that faced relegation and dropped down to the second-tier league.
Among these relegated teams were Leicester City, Leeds, and Southampton. In a striking display of skill, Haaland achieved 3 goals in two matches against Southampton, 2 goals in two matches against Leeds, and an additional 2 goals in a single match against Leicester.
Before the dawn of the current season, Haaland encountered goal-scoring challenges against a sum of 6 teams, encompassing not only the three relegated teams from the prior season but also the three newly-promoted teams from the lower division this season. Worth mentioning is the fact that Luton Town and Sheffield United, both newcomers to the Premier League, have not yet faced Haaland. As for the trio of teams, Haaland struggled against last season, they were Liverpool, Chelsea, and Brentford. However, he swiftly altered this narrative by striking a double blow in City’s opening game against Burnley, yet another team that had ascended from the lower division.
Haaland’s confrontation with Liverpool also had its twists. Despite appearing in one of the two matches against them last season, he was sidelined in the second-leg match due to an ankle injury when Liverpool visited City’s home ground. In the first-leg match at Anfield, a formidable James Milner, surprisingly deployed as a defender, managed to nullify Haaland’s impact, resulting in a goalless draw for City. Meanwhile, an exceptional goal by Mohamed Salah sealed City’s fate in a 1-0 defeat.
The saga between Haaland and City against Brentford paints an even gloomier picture. The City experienced defeat in both their matches against Brentford. Haaland, though partaking in one of these matches, struggled to make a significant impact on the field throughout the 90 minutes. Despite Phil Foden finding the net for City, the team fell short with a 2-1 loss. Haaland remained on the bench in the other match, which concluded with a 1-0 loss.
Turning to the Chelsea encounters, City managed to triumph over the London club in both legs, securing 1-0 victories each time. Regrettably, Haaland could not contribute to the goal tally in either of these matches. The spotlight in those games was claimed by Julian Alvarez and Riyad Mahrez, who each scored a decisive goal. In one of the matches, Haaland made a cameo appearance as a substitute.
The upcoming match offers Haaland the chance to diminish the list of Premier League teams he has been unable to score against from five to four. The city is set to face Sheffield United in the forthcoming Sunday fixture. The question remains whether Haaland will seize this opportunity to make his mark on the score sheet.