Manchester City defeated Wolves 5-1 behind four goals from Haaland to maintain control of the Premier League championship chase

England’s Manchester (AP) — Manchester City destroyed Wolverhampton 5-1 on Saturday to maintain their lead in the Premier League championship contest thanks to four goals from Erling Haaland, including one in the first half.

With another outstanding showing by Haaland, Pep Guardiola’s team responded forcefully to Arsenal’s 3-0 victory against Bournemouth earlier in the day.

After scoring twice from the spot with penalties in the first half, one after a strong header, the Norwegian striker added a fourth with a curling shot.

Hwang Hee-chan gave Wolves some solace, and substitute Julian Alvarez also had a chance to score.

With the victory, City—who are vying for a record fourth straight league championship—got within one point of the Gunners. Arsenal has two remaining games, whereas City just has three.

Haaland’s brilliant performance increased his campaign total to 36 goals across all competitions and moved him up to 25th place in the Premier League Silver Boot race, ahead of five of his closest competitors. In City colours, it was his ninth hat trick.

There wasn’t much of an offensive rush from the Wolves players, but manager Gary O’Neil might have been happy that his touchline suspension held him in check.

The hosts seized the lead without any surprise as City’s resolve was evident from the start, even though there was considerable debate about the first penalties after 12 minutes.

Josko Gvardiol was about to shoot when Rayan Ait-Nouri attempted to get in the way, and they ended up colliding. Referee Craig Pawson gave the spot kick, which Haaland comfortably put away, though the call might have gone any way.

Wolves’ poor defence helped City score additional goals shortly after Kevin De Bruyne’s effort went wide and Wolves custodian Jose Sa scratched Haaland’s head. At the crucial moment, Phil Foden lost hold of the ball as he scrambled into the area.

The second goal seemed obvious; in the 35th minute, Rodri regained the ball, ran, and passed to De Bruyne before raising an effort at the back post, which was expertly headed beyond Sa….

After being hauled down by Nelson Semedo, the Norwegian finished the first half of stoppage time with his third of the match with a second penalty.

Pawson looked at the obstacle on the arena’s monitor this time, not happy, but he pointed to the location.

Before the half, Wolves didn’t give up much, but after 53 minutes, they scored one with a spurt of play.

Ederson Moraes, the City custodian, beat Jean-Ricner Bellegarde’s pass into Hwang’s path after the South Korean turned it into the net. Moraes had first suffered a shoulder injury.

But Haaland promptly and decisively put an end to whatever hopes Wanderers might have harboured of a fight.

After snagging a long pass from Foden, the attacker cut inside and sent a powerful shot into the far corner from within the box.

With five minutes left Mateo Kovavic prevented Haaland, which a chance to score his fifth shortly after, but Alvarez again beat Sa with a well-timed stop.

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