Erling Haaland broke the Premier League’s single-season scoring record after the Manchester City striker netted his 35th goal of an incredible campaign in a 3-0 victory over West Ham on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old scored in a win over Fulham on Sunday to equal the previous-best mark of 34 held jointly by Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer, and his goal in the 70th minute against West Ham saw Haaland eclipse the mark with five games left to play in the current campaign.
Haaland scored his record goal in typical classy fashion, running on to Jack Grealish’s ball in behind the West Ham defense and chipping keeper Lukasz Fabianski to double City’s lead as they pursue a fifth Premier League title in six years.
“It’s a special night and a special moment. I’m really happy and proud. I don’t know what else to say,” Haaland told Sky Sports. “I knew about the record, of course, but we tried to create chances to score and it wasn’t easy because they wanted to defend. We struggled in the first half but they eventually came.”
Cole’s 34-goal season came with Newcastle United in the second year of the Premier League, in 1993-94, with Shearer equaling it the following season to fire Blackburn Rovers to the title.
Both Cole and Shearer set the mark in a 42-game season. Haaland, whose 35 goals have come in just 31 league appearances, had already surpassed the previous record for a 38-game Premier League season set when Mohamed Salah scored 32 for Liverpool in 2017-18.
The City players formed a guard of honor after the game at the Etihad Stadium, enthusiastically smacking Haaland on the head as he ran through in celebration.
“I think he deserved it, all the team deserved it because without the team he couldn’t do it,” City boss Pep Guardiola said after the match. “We are very pleased for him, he is a joy — not just to work with him — everyone is happy to have him with us. Of course this record will be broken sooner or later, maybe by him in the future. He will score a lot of goals.
“Of course, when there is a special occasion we have to show how special it is. Today it was with Erling and to overcome the position of Andy Cole and Alan Shearer. They are incredible top strikers so it’s special.”
His dad Alfie Haaland, who played for Manchester City, watched from one of the boxes with a wide smile and accepted congratulatory handshakes from everyone around him.
Records have fallen on a near-weekly basis for Haaland in a dream first season at the Etihad Stadium since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
The Norway star has already eclipsed the previous record for most goals scored in all competitions by a Premier League player. His 52 goals have far exceeded the 44 scored by Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United in 2002-03 and Salah in 2017-18.
Haaland still has a ways to go to surpass the all-time record for the most goals scored in England’s top division, however. The legendary Dixie Dean struck 60 goals for Everton in 1927-28.