Manchester City 5-1 Fulham: Erling Haaland scores hat-trick as champions return to the top of the Premier League

Erling Haaland celebrates with Sergio Gomez after scoring his fifth Premier League hat-trick.

Erling Haaland capped a golden week by completing a second-half hat-trick as Manchester City extended their 100% start to the Premier League season with a win over Fulham.

On Tuesday, Haaland was named PFA Player of the Year. On Thursday, he got a similar award from Uefa.

Here, he was back doing what he does best – putting the ball into the net, as he took his tally to six for the campaign.

Haaland had set up the opener for Julian Alvarez – and with the score at 2-1 going into the second half, the favour was returned, as the Argentine sent him charging into the box with a fine first-time pass for City’s third.

The Norwegian then kept his nerve to score City’s fourth from the penalty spot after Issa Diop had fouled Alvarez.

Haaland had already been named man of the match when he applied the superb first-time finish to Sergio Gomez’s cut-back to claim yet another match ball.

Fulham would argue the pivotal moment in the game came just before the break, after Tim Ream had equalised within a minute of Alvarez’s opener on the half hour.

Video assistant referee Tony Harrington ruled an offside Manuel Akanji was not interfering with play as Nathan Ake’s 10-yard header bounced past him, even though the Swiss made a play for the ball.

Fulham boss Marco Silva evidently thought otherwise and was booked as he led the protests.

Nathan Ake scores for MAnchester City against Fulham

The winning machine

Victory means City enter the first international break two points clear of their nearest challengers.

That will be a concern for them all because Pep Guardiola’s side have not won their opening four games since his first season in charge – meaning they didn’t manage it in any of their five title-winning campaigns under the illustrious former Barcelona coach, who is currently recovering from back surgery.

For half an hour in this game, they were off the pace.

Without the injured Jack Grealish, £55m new arrival Jeremy Doku was handed his debut. The Belgian produced an encouraging performance, including one excellent touchline burst that nearly set up Phil Foden.

But until Alvarez scored, City were below par and the way they let Ream run unchecked to the far post to equalise hinted at a lack of focus.

Ake’s goal changed the complexion of the entire contest, allowing Haaland to take centre stage as he has done so often.

Incredibly, the 23-year-old now has Premier League 51 goal involvements – 42 goals and nine assists – in just 39 appearances. It is the fastest anyone has achieved that, breaking Andy Cole’s record by four games.

With six goals in four league games, Haaland has matched his start to last season. Already City and their star striker have laid down a marker it will be difficult to match.

Furious Silva booked again

Fulham manager Marco Silva

There will presumably come a point when Fulham boss Silva starts to bite his tongue over the perceived injustices being meted out to his side.

He has not arrived at that stage yet.

When VAR Harrington indicated to referee Michael Oliver that Ake’s header should stand, the Fulham manager erupted.

Bernd Leno raced from his goal to tell Oliver he had been impeded by Manuel Akanji, who made a play for the ball as Ake’s header went past him. Leno could hardly be claimed as a neutral witness but TV replays did indicate the German’s movement in making a save began after the ball went past Akanji.

Silva was still complaining to fourth official Michael Salisbury long after play restarted, which itself took an age as the players continued to argue around the centre circle.

A fourth booking of the season means Silva is two away from a second touchline ban, which is surely unprecedented at such an early point of the season.

Having now lost 15 successive games to this particular opponent, Fulham were not expected to claim victory.

However, their chances were hardly helped by the absence of star man Joao Palhinha, whose hoped for move to Bayern Munich fell through on Friday afternoon, even though he had travelled to Germany passed his medical, posed in a Bayern shirt and carried out in-house interviews.

Eighteen-year-old academy product Luke Harris will have learned from his extended appearance, although that came at the expense of an injury to captain Tom Cairney, which, all in all, contributed to a day Fulham would probably prefer to forget ever happened.

Player of the match

HaalandErling Haaland

with an average of 7.74

Manchester City

  1. Squad number9Player nameHaaland
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  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
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  3. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez
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  4. Squad number82Player nameLewis
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  5. Squad number52Player nameBobb
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  6. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
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  7. Squad number21Player nameGómez
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  8. Squad number4Player namePhillips
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  9. Squad number6Player nameAké
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  10. Squad number16Player nameRodri
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  11. Squad number2Player nameWalker
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  12. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
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  13. Squad number11Player nameDoku
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  14. Squad number31Player nameEderson
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  15. Squad number25Player nameAkanji
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  16. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
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  1. Squad number7Player nameJiménez

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  2. Squad number13Player nameReam

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  3. Squad number6Player nameReed

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  4. Squad number18Player nameAndreas Pereira

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  5. Squad number31Player nameDiop

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  6. Squad number8Player nameWilson

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  7. Squad number11Player nameTraoré

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  8. Squad number17Player nameLeno

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  9. Squad number33Player nameRobinson

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  10. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid

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  11. Squad number2Player nameTete

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  12. Squad number10Player nameCairney

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  13. Squad number21Player nameCastagne

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  14. Squad number38Player nameHarris

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  15. Squad number20Player nameWillian

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  16. Squad number19Player nameRodrigo Muniz

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Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 31Ederson
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 25Akanji
  • 6Aké
  • 16RodriBooked at 41minsSubstituted forBernardo Silvaat 76′minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 8KovacicSubstituted forPhillipsat 84′minutes
  • 11DokuSubstituted forGómezat 76′minutes
  • 19ÁlvarezSubstituted forLewisat 90′minutes
  • 47FodenSubstituted forBobbat 90′minutes
  • 9Haaland


  • 4Phillips
  • 18Ortega
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 21Gómez
  • 24Gvardiol
  • 27Nunes
  • 33Carson
  • 52Bobb
  • 82Lewis


Formation 4-3-3

  • 17Leno
  • 2TeteSubstituted forCastagneat 73′minutes
  • 31DiopBooked at 43mins
  • 13Ream
  • 33RobinsonBooked at 45mins
  • 18PereiraBooked at 69mins
  • 6Reed
  • 10CairneySubstituted forHarrisat 16′minutes
  • 8WilsonSubstituted forTraoréat 81′minutes
  • 7JiménezSubstituted forMuniz Carvalhoat 81′minutes
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 54minsSubstituted forWillianat 73′minutes


  • 1Rodák
  • 3Bassey
  • 11Traoré
  • 19Muniz Carvalho
  • 20Willian
  • 21Castagne
  • 30Carlos Vinícius
  • 35Francois
  • 38Harris

Michael Oliver


Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Manchester City 5, Fulham 1.

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