Alan Shearer was full of praise for hat-trick-scoring Erling Haaland following Manchester City’s 6-0 drubbing of Burnley in Saturday evening’s FA Cup final at the Etihad, calling the Norwegian ‘a goal-scoring machine’.
The Newcastle legend at times seemed awestruck by the feats performed on the pitch by the City forward, who scored his second hat-trick in two matches – with a goal coming on average every 15 minutes and 55 seconds.
The three goals put past Burnley goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell marked Haaland’s sixth hat-trick in sky blue this season.
Shearer is the all-time Premier League top goal scorer, with 260 goals scored during his storied career.
But no one is more aware than Shearer himself that the formidable City man has every intention of smashing the record, if his debut season in English football is anything to go by.
‘Haaland is a beast,’ Shearer stated plainly on Match of the Day’s coverage of the quarter-final. ‘He is a goalscoring machine. He lives and breathes goals.
‘If he doesn’t score he doesn’t sleep at night. He wants another one, then another one, then another one.
‘He’s fantastic, and this team must be a dream with the chances they create.’
Shearer also stressed his ability to shift the momentum of the Manchester-based team, with the 22-year-old’s opener setting up his team’s eventual rout of the visitors.
‘Haaland barely had a kick until the first goal. Man City didn’t play well in the first 30 minutes.
‘He might get 50 goals, maybe even 60. It’s bonkers.’
Prophetically, Shearer had said before kick-off that it was ‘no surprise’ that Haaland was in such white-hot form, largely due to his attitude.
‘He’s got great confidence without being arrogant, he’s selfish in the right way,’ Shearer added, noting that he could tell when he was a bit ‘annoyed’ with team-mates if he felt under-served.
Haaland, for his part, stated that he wasn’t focused on Shearer’s record.
Speaking after being awarded man of the match, Haaland said: ‘No, I have not [set myself that as a target].
‘I’m a striker, I love to score goals, but my focus is not on scoring goals but on getting the chances. If I get the chances, there’s a good chance I’ll score.’
Haaland added that he was happy for the team after ‘impressive’ recent results.
City will have to wait until Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-finals are player to learn whether they face Fulham or cross-town rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals at Wembley.