Football News

“The hardly-used pass master” – The crazy Haaland stat that defines Man City 4-0 Bournemouth

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:37, 13 August 2022

Manchester City brushed Bournemouth aside in a dominant afternoon of football best illustrated by one crazy stat.

The two-time Premier League champions won 4-0 and never really looked in danger of getting anything besides a win thanks in part to their star striker Erling Haaland. The giant Norwegian was making his home debut and defined the game.

Of course, what’s interesting is Haaland didn’t even score a goal like he did last week when he devastated West Ham with a brutal brace, yet he still managed to define the game through his movement and, believe it or not, his passing.

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In terms of movement, Haaland’s threat is so huge that when he moves about the pitch he does so with an incredible amount of “gravity” pulling opponents towards him, allowing him to act as a decoy just like he did for Kevin de Bruyne’s delirious trivela finish for City’s second goal, or Foden’s slapshot third for City.

But the passing was where the real magic happened.

Erling Haaland had just 8 touches of the ball against Bournemouth. He was a constant threat to be involved, but played off the ball. He could have scored if Phil Foden had squared the ball to him in the early going, but instead it was down to Haaland to create the opener.

A pass fired in to him was controlled superbly, then Haaland turned and slipped Ilkay Gundogan through with a perfectly-weighted through-ball and the German supplied the superb finish to make it 1-0.

One pass attempted, one pass completed.

Haaland then took kick-off after De Bruyne’s second goal. And those two passes, the assist to Gundogan and the kick-off, were the only passes that Erling Haaland attempted in the entire game.

No, seriously.

Two passes attempted, two passes completed, one chance created and one assists. He had as many shots (2) as he did passes.

In fact the hardly-used pass master Erling Haaland is the only player in the Premier League since 2016/17 to make two or fewer passes and still provide an assist, having played 74 minutes.

That is why he is so scary: Manchester City barely even need to pass him the ball to terrifying and torment teams in the Premier League.