Manchester City claimed top spot in the Premier League for the first time since February as Erling Haaland reached yet another milestone in a 2-1 triumph at Fulham on Sunday.
Haaland tucked away a penalty in the third minute for his record-equaling 34th It moved him level with Alan Shearer and Andy Cole for the Premier League single-season scoring record.
City were pegged back in the 15th minute when Carlos Vinicius rifled a shot past Ederson, but they responded to the setback to carve out a succession of opportunities.
Jack Grealish was denied by the crossbar before Argentine forward Julian Alvarez produced a moment of magic to beat Bernd Leno with a right-footed shot from outside the area.
City were unable to give themselves a cushion after the break despite several opportunities and suffered some anxious moments, but they held on for an eighth successive league victory.
With 76 points, they moved one ahead of Arsenal and also have an extra game in hand.
Fulham remain in 10th place.
As City go through the gears in the title race, Haaland continues to surpass individual milestones in what is rapidly becoming one of the most remarkable debut seasons in English football history. There are plenty of stats to choose from, but everyone will have a favorite.
Haaland’s third-minute penalty was his 50th goal of the season, making him the first player to reach that mark in a single season at an English club since 1931.
The half-century is composed of one EFL Cup goal, three FA Cup goals, 12 Champions League goals and 34 in the Premier League — the most in a 38-game campaign. Haaland is now tied with Andy Cole (1993-94) and Alan Shearer (1994-95) for the most goals in any Premier League season and it is simply a matter of time before he breaks that record.
It seems almost perverse to suggest this, but Haaland hasn’t even been that efficient of late. He missed a series of glorious chances versus Arsenal and could have scored more on Sunday, admittedly in part denied by some fine goalkeeping by Leno. But that is a minor criticism.
Haaland is the most feared forward in the land for a reason; the banner held up in the away end, “Feed the Yorkshire Viking and he will score” is hard to argue with. Dixie Dean’s all-time 63-goal haul is not an impossibility with a maximum of 10 more matches to play this season.