Erling Haaland scored his 50th goal of the season in all competitions as Manchester City defeated Fulham to retake the top spot in the Premier League.
Haaland became the first player in the top division to hit 50 goals in a season since Tom “Pongo” Waring accomplished it for Aston Villa in 1931 by converting a penalty in the third minute after Julian Alvarez was fouled by Tim Ream.
By matching the 34 goals Andy Cole scored for Newcastle in 1993–94 and the same number Alan Shearer scored for Blackburn the following season, the Norwegian striker also tied the record for most goals in a Premier League season.
Ederson mocked Arsenal fans as Erling Haaland scored the fourth goal
However, Fulham scored their first goal of the game in the 15th minute with a powerful shot from Carlos Vinicius past Ederson after Harry Wilson had headed the ball into his path.
However, the hosts were unable to hold on and capture what might have been a noteworthy outcome.
Alvarez’s spectacular shot from 25 yards out gave Manchester City their first lead back in the 36th minute after Jack Grealish’s effort was deflected onto the crossbar.
With a game remaining, Pep Guardiola’s team climbs above and ahead of Arsenal with a victory, pulling ahead of the Gunners by one point.
As they pursue a Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup treble, this is the first time since mid-February that City has been ahead of Arsenal.
“Erling Haaland should win Ballon d’Or”
Unwavering City pursues another league title
The 4-1 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday gave City control of the title race as they sought to capture the English championship for the sixth time in six years. This was their first game since that victory.
They were without key midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, who Guardiola claimed “was not feeling good,” while Riyad Mahrez and Alvarez were inserted into the starting lineup in place of Bernardo Silva.
Ream’s reckless trip caused Alvarez to be fouled, and Haaland converted the penalty for City to score his 18th goal in his last 12 games. Alvarez had an immediate impact.
The Argentine striker Alvarez, who contributed to his nation’s World Cup victory in December, scored his eighth Premier League goal of the year with a spectacular strike to give City the advantage once again.
They had more opportunities, but Bernd Leno made great low saves to deny both Haaland and Alvarez, and Fulham was unable to equalize despite late pressure.
With six Premier League games remaining and an unbeaten record of 18 games across all competitions, Guardiola’s team needs to win five of those games to clinch the title.
Prior to the first leg of the Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid in Spain on May 9, they play host to struggling West Ham and Leeds on May 3 and 6, respectively.
Is Fulham’s season about to fizzle out?
Before a run of five losses in seven games leading up to this game at Craven Cottage, Fulham, who won the Championship last season, was sixth and dreaming of making it to Europe.
The team led by Marco Silva is currently in 10th place and seeking their first top-10 finish in the premier division since 2011–12. After Haaland’s penalty, they were only down for 12 minutes before Vinicius tied the score against the odds.
But the Cottagers ultimately lost once more, and their season appears to be coming to a quiet close.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, a striker for Fulham, is still out after receiving an eight-game suspension for shoving a referee during the FA Cup quarterfinal loss to Manchester United in March. Willian is also out after suffering a hamstring injury during the warm-up for Tuesday’s 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.
After only 22 minutes, Silva’s team experienced another setback as captain Ream left the game due to an arm injury and was replaced by Issa Diop.
Additionally, Fulham suffered a setback in the second half when midfielder Andreas Pereira had to be taken to the hospital on a stretcher after colliding unintentionally with City defender Manuel Akanji.
In the middle of the second half, Vinicius had an opportunity to equalize, but City goalkeeper Ederson recovered just in time as the striker sought to take the ball around his fellow Brazilian.
On May 3 at 10:00 BST, Fulham will play at Liverpool on the road.