Erling Haaland nets brace after returning from injury to fire City to the top of the Premier League

Photo: James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Erling Haaland scored his first Premier League goals since late November, as Manchester City saw off Everton with a 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium, placing Pep Guardiola’s men at the top of the title race and extending the Toffees winless league run to seven matches.

With Pep Guardiola’s side having not held the top position since November, City started the game poorly, as the first-half was far from impressive.

City lost the chance to take the lead in the opening half when Jérémy Doku couldn’t find Erling Haaland with a square ball after an enterprising run before Matheus Nunes’ shot was deflected over. A rare chance at the other end was spurned by Jack Harrison, as the former City youngster fired over to keep the contest goalless heading into HT.

Things failed to improve for City as proceedings got back underway, but the introduction of Kevin De Bruyne prompted an upturn in fortunes, and the Sky Blues finally took the lead 20 minutes from time with just their first shot on target. The ball was allowed to bounce around the area following a corner kick, and the inevitable Haaland produced a volley for his first strike since returning from injury.

Everton briefly searched for a response, but they lost solidity at the back and were soon hit on the counter by a combination of De Bruyne and Haaland, with the latter racing past Jarrad Branthwaite to slot in his second.

The win sends the reigning champions top, pending Liverpool’s game against Burnley.

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