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Erling Haaland admits he lived out boyhood 'fantasy' scoring at Elland Road

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Manchester City striker Erling Haaland described it as a personal ‘fantasy’ to score at Elland Road, having been born in Leeds and grown up a fan of the club.


Haaland scored twice in the second half on Wednesday night as City won 3-1 to reduce the gap to Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table back to the five points it was before Christmas.

In doing so, the Norwegian reached a milestone 20th Premier League goal in only his 14th appearance in the competition. He is now the fastest player to get to 20 goals, smashing the previous record of 21 appearances set by Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips in 2000.

Haaland has a well-known affinity with Leeds. His father, Alf Inge Haaland, played for the club for three years from 1997 until 2000, later joining Manchester City himself.

Haaland Jr. was born in the West Yorkshire city in the summer of 2000, just before the transfer to what was then Maine Road was completed. His place of birth even made him eligible to represent England at international level, although he went on to spend nearly all of his childhood in Norway once his father’s playing career came to an end in 2003 and the family relocated back home.

But Leeds left an impact on the young Haaland nonetheless, even idolising former Leeds and Norway midfielder Eirik Bakke, who played nearly 200 games for the club between 1999 and 2007.

Haaland was also quoted much earlier in his career saying that it is a dream of his to win the Premier League with Leeds. But while that may never be a realistic possibility, at least scoring at Elland Road was something he always wanted to do – now, he has done it.

“My father and mother were here. I’m happy, it’s a special moment in my career. When I was young, I had an Eirik Bakke shirt in my room and a jersey of my father,” Haaland said.

“It’s crazy. It was a fantasy of mine to score at Elland Road for City.”

City are next in action at home to Everton on New Year’s Eve, kicking off before Arsenal. A win there would cut the gap at the top of the table to just two points and increase the pressure on the Gunners before the leaders play a tricky game away at Brighton later that day.