London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | Erling Haaland scored his first hat-trick in English football as Manchester City fought back from two goals down to extend our unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace.
A John Stones own goal and Joachim Andersen’s header had put Patrick Vieira’s side in control at half-time, but the defending champions turned the game on its head with a dominant second half display.
Bernardo Silva got City on the comeback trail with his 50th goal for the Club, before Haaland seized control of the contest with three goals in 19 minutes to send us top of the table ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with Fulham.
City got off to the worst possible start at the Etihad Stadium, falling behind in the fourth minute when Eberechi Eze’s free-kick deflected off John Stones’ knee and beyond Ederson.
There was an element of misfortune about the opener, with Stones caught unawares as the cross flicked off both Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker before bouncing into his leg, but the same could not be said as Palace doubled their lead in emphatic fashion in the 21st minute.
Eze was again the architect, delivering an inviting cross from a corner, with Joachim Andersen rising highest to power a header into the bottom left corner.
Despite enjoying 75% possession in the first half, Pep Guardiola’s men failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
Erling Haaland headed over from a corner and fired into the side netting from a tight angle following a good ball from Phil Foden, who spurned City’s best chance of the half when he headed inches above the crossbar after good work down the right from Bernardo.
Palace and, in particular, Eze, carried a real threat on the counter in the opening 45-minutes, but City were utterly dominant after the break.
The impressive Bernardo instigated the fightback eight minutes after the restart, driving inside Tyrick Mitchell and beating Vicente Guaita with a low strike that deflected off Jeffrey Schlupp.
City levelled nine minutes later as Haaland nodded Foden’s pinpoint delivery beyond the Palace goalkeeper and he then tapped in at the far post to finish off a trademark Guardiola goal that put the hosts in front.
Haaland arguably saved his best until last, showing the pace, power and composure that makes him so dangerous.
Collecting Ilkay Gundogan’s precise through ball, he held off the attentions of Joel Ward before calmly slotting into the bottom left corner to complete a superb turnaround.