Rio Ferdinand spent some of the pre-match build-up mocking Manchester City’s lights show – but was giving Erling Haaland a standing ovation by the hour mark.
Haaland destroyed Leipzig in a stunning show of ruthless brilliance to send Manchester City into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Their last-16 tie was evenly-poised after a 1-1 draw at the Red Bull Arena, but the Etihad was treated to a commanding 7-0 victory on Tuesday evening.
Haaland became the third player in Champions League history to score five goals in a game – there are many more of such unfathomably phenomenal statistics to marvel at – with Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne offering their two cents in the second half.
Pep Guardiola is no fun, however, and thus substituted Haaland with about half an hour remaining.
The Norwegian was robbed of the opportunity to complete a double hat-trick but was given arguably an even greater honour: a standing ovation from Ferdinand from the BT Sport studio.
Even clapped off by a United legend. What a player. What a performance. 👏 pic.twitter.com/Dpuf9rL1m0
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) March 14, 2023
It represented a slight change of tack from Ferdinand, who mocked Manchester City for their light show before the game.
“We don’t need stuff like this at Old Trafford,” he said in a video posted to his Twitter account.
“We don’t need all these lights. We don’t need these lights. We don’t need these lights at Old Trafford.
“For real, at Man Utd we don’t need these light shows.”
Fellow pundit Joleon Lescott was on hand to deliver a necessary retort: “Yeah, well these are Champions League lights. Europa League don’t need these lights.”
In an interview with the BT Sport panel after the game, Haaland described it as “a big night”.
The 22-year-old added: “I love this competition, as everybody knows. Five goals. To win 7-0 at home. I’m so happy.
“A lot of goals today, I didn’t think. I was just doing it. On the penalty, I was just trying to get the ball into the back of the net. Same with the second goal. Same with the third goal. Same with every goal. I didn’t think on every single goal.
“So I think a lot of it is just being quick in the mind and to do the right thing and try to put it where the keeper is not. A little bit of it, of course, is quality, but a lot of it is in the head.”
On Guardiola taking him off in the 63rd minute on five goals, Haaland said: “I told him when I went off, ‘I would love to score a double hat-trick!’. But what can we do? We have to go off.”
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