Erling Haaland makes scoring look so easy we’re starting to doubt if he’s real


It’s quite easy to start convincing yourself that Erling Haaland is some sort of living cartoon character.

Over the last couple of years, Haaland has arrived onto the scene already fully-formed as an elite-level striker. Watching him on the pitch can feel like reading over an unused storyline from a long lost Beano in which an impoverished schoolboy is put onto the field with Brazil 1970 and single-handedly starts rainbow flicking the ball over the heads of Carlos Alberto and co.

Since leaving second-tier outfit Byrne to join Molde in 2017, Haaland has scored 65 goals in 95 senior club appearances. On Monday night, the 20-year-old won his fourth cap for Norway, and his brace in their 5-1 victory over Northern Ireland took his international record to three goals in four games.

The numbers are silly enough, but the goals themselves are starting to take the biscuit. Put a sea shell to your ear anywhere around the world and you can still hear the reverberations of PSG’s net rattling following Haaland’s stunner in last season’s Champions League.

PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas was stupid enough to even try to stop Haaland’s strike that day, only to be left crumpled in a heap on the floor. Northern Ireland stopper Bailey Peacock-Farrell wasn’t going to make the same mistake on Monday, not that he had any time to think by the time Haaland side-footed a half-volley into to the far corner.

It needed a special strike to beat Peacock-Farrell from there, but the frightening thing about Haaland is the way he makes routine finishes so spectacular too.

By his own standards, he was presented with an easy chance in the second half when slipped through in front of goal. Haaland still had time and space to take another touch, steady himself, wait until Peacock-Farrell committed, pick his spot.

Instead, he bent a wicked shot into the top corner that again rendered the goalkeeper utterly pointless. Yet again Peacock-Farrell didn’t have time to try to save it. On this occasion he just dropped to one knee as if he’d just been punched in the stomach.

Oh, and before we forget, he even does ridiculous assists too.

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