It feels like a weekly occurrence these days but Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland rewrote Champions League history once again with yet another star turn for the club on Tuesday night.
After netting twice in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie against Sevilla, a 3-2 win, Haaland repeated the feat by scoring both goals as Dortmund drew 2-2 in the second leg, thus securing a 5-4 aggregate victory for the Bundesliga side.
It proved to be quite a night for the 20-year-old striker, who set a fair number of UCL records tumbling — a phenomenon that seems to develop each and every time he takes to the field.
Here’s how things panned out.
Haaland’s remarkable night
Haaland opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a simple tap-in before adding a second in much more chaotic circumstances shortly after half-time.
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) March 9, 2021
The Dortmund forward initially found the net in the 47th minute after bounding through the Sevilla defence and clipping a finish past goalkeeper Yassine “Bono” Bounou.
However, the goal was swiftly disallowed for a foul by the striker. However, a penalty was then immediately awarded to the German side due to an infringement spotted by VAR in a passage of play over a minute earlier.
Haaland scores. Ref goes to VAR. Disallows the goal and gives Dortmund a penalty for an earlier passage of play. Haaland misses the penalty. Retaken for keeper coming off his line. Haaland scores penalty.
And breathe … pic.twitter.com/FPTl9kYYpz
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 9, 2021
Haaland then missed the ensuing spot kick only for VAR to demand it be retaken after Bono was adjudged to have crept off his line. The Sevilla keeper was also seen to celebrate the miss by shouting in Haaland’s face.
For the second attempt, though, the Dortmund star finally got his record-breaking goal by rattling home before taunting the Sevilla stopper in retaliation during his celebration.
Haaland was shown a yellow card for straying a little too close to the edge, visibly goading Bono after inching the ball past the keeper and Sevilla’s players chased the Dortmund attacker down the pitch before he was taken down by his own teammate during the celebrations.
Erling Haaland got a yellow card for taunting the Sevilla keeper after scoring a penalty against him 😤 pic.twitter.com/fValNoRgXB
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 9, 2021
“First of all, it was a nice goal before but then it was penalty and then I missed and then he cheated and I took it again and then I scored when he didn’t cheat,” Haaland said on Sky. “It was exactly the same [second penalty] but then he stood on the line and first he didn’t stand on the line.
“To be honest, I was nervous a little bit for the second one, but after he was screaming in my face after the first one, I was thinking it would be even better to score another goal. That’s what happened, and that was nice.”
Asked what they two had said to each other, Haaland said: “I don’t know what it means. But I said what he said after I missed the first one. Maybe it’s karma in this world. I think so after this.”
Fastest to 20
After all that, the goal was Haaland’s 20th in the Champions League, making him the fastest player to reach that milestone in competition history.
The Dortmund man took just 14 games to reach the 20-goal mark, comfortably beating the record previously held by Tottenham counterpart Harry Kane, who took 24 games to do likewise.
🔝 Fewest games to score 20 goals in the Champions League:
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 9, 2021
For the record, it took Barcelona’s Lionel Messi 40 games to reach 20 UCL goals, while Cristiano Ronaldo needed 56 games to reach that total for Man United and Real Madrid.
Bayern Munich and Dortmund hotshot Robert Lewandowski needed 36 games, Neymar needed 38 when playing for Barcelona, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic required a positively sluggish 71 games with Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona and finally AC Milan.
It took Haaland 14 games to score 20 goals in the Champions League.
It took Messi 40 games to score 20 goals in the Champions League.
It took Ronaldo 56 games to score 20 goals in the Champions League. pic.twitter.com/JUcl5aLrh7
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 9, 2021
At the age of 20 years and 231 days, and in the space of just 14 Champions League appearances, Haaland passed PSG’s Kylian Mbappe as the youngest to reach 20 goals too and has already amassed more goals in the competition than a plethora of big names.
For example, Roma legend Francesco Totti only ever scored 17 goals on European club football’s biggest stage, with Haaland also outscoring the likes of Ronaldinho (18), Zinedine Zidane (14), and Ronaldo Nazario (14).
Top scorer from Norway
The prolific young striker also surpassed compatriot and Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to become the highest-scoring Norwegian in the history of the competition.
Erling Haaland has overtaken Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to become the highest scoring Norwegian in UCL history 🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/bWM1wOdFcM
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) March 9, 2021
So that’s now four Champions League goals (and counting) for Haaland in 2021, to go with eight goals in 2019 and 2020 — eight for FC Salzburg and 12 for Dortmund thus far.
It also makes him the first player in Champions League history to score 2+ goals in four straight games, as well as becoming the first player to score 10+ goals in each of his first two seasons in the competition.
Perhaps it’s not much of a shock that a powerful, dynamic, all-action striker who burst onto the scene with a scintillating hat trick on his debut would continue to score goals for fun.
If you’re looking for a UCL record to smash to smithereens, then Haaland is your man.
Arsenal x 424
Arsenal have further extended their top-end streetwear portfolio with a new collaboration, this time with U.S. designer clothing brand 424.
424 is a sport-influenced streetwear label based in Los Angeles who are signed up as the Gunners’ official formalwear partner.
The latest offering from their partnership with both Arsenal and Adidas is a new limited-edition capsule which contains a reworked 2020-21 home jersey in black and red, along with performance apparel, sneakers, a holdall and a poncho — as modelled by striker Alexandre Lacazette.
adidas and Arsenal drop a limited-edition collection with Los Angeles-based brand 424.
Guillermo Andrade’s streetwear imprint expand their partnership with the Gunners with a clean new range fusing streetwear with adidas’ performance product.
— VERSUS (@vsrsus) March 10, 2021
The range will be donned by the Arsenal squad ahead of the upcoming North London derby against Tottenham on March 14 and then again before their game against West Ham (March 20).
“We continue to see the sporting and fashion worlds collide, and this range is the embodiment of that trend,” said Guillermo Andrade, CEO and head designer at 424. “At 424, we make clothes for people to wear on the street — literally streetwear, and collaborating with adidas, to bring streetwear and football together is really exciting.
“Football was my childhood passion, and still something extremely close to my heart. Having the chance to create first a formalwear collection, and now this travel and leisure range with my beloved Arsenal is an absolute dream.”