Erling Haaland virtually wrote his own record book for Manchester City against RB Leipzig on a thrilling night at the Etihad Stadium, but manager Pep Guardiola spoiled what might have been one more.
Haaland scored five goals as City steamrolled their German opponents into submission in a 7-0 rout to put them into the Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth consecutive season before Guardiola substituted him in the 63rd minute.
No player in Champions League history has scored six goals in a game.
“If he achieved this milestone, the record, at 22, will be boring, his life, so now he’ll have a target to do it in the future, here and everywhere,” Guardiola said. “So that’s why I make a substitution.”
Haaland became the third player in history to score five goals in a game, matching Luiz Adriano, who achieved the feat in 2014 for Shakhtar Donetsk, and Lionel Messi, in 2012 for Barcelona — with Guardiola as coach.
“I didn’t know with Messi when it was happening against Leverkusen, they told me in the first interview,” Guardiola said. “But I made a substitution (on Tuesday) because normally when the game is over, I want to... let them play, as many players as possible. Haaland equalled Messi’s record, but he did it in 60 minutes, it’s different.”