IT was a case of normal service resumed at the Etihad on Saturday.
Manchester City made it ten wins in a row in all competitions with a routine 2-0 victory over Everton and no prizes for guessing who made the headlines.
It was none other than Erling Haaland (£7.3m), in his first start at home since recovering from a foot injury, who scored both goals to send out another statement to the defending champions’ rivals.
The Norwegian poacher previously looked a tad rusty against Burnley and Brentford but the vast majority of Dream Team managers correctly anticipated a return to form as he was the most-popular recruit ahead of Gameweek 23.
Not only that, he was the most-selected captain across the last nine Gameweeks.
Dream Team21 goals and counting this season[/caption]
Haaland slammed home the hosts’ opener in the 71st minute when the ball fell to him from a set-piece.
And the 23-year-old sealed the three points with a typically clinical finish in a one-on-one situation having brushed aside Jarrad Branthwaite (£2.7m).
When all was said and done, Haaland banked 14 points at the Toffees’ expense to reclaim top spot among Dream Team strikers.
He’s currently level with Joao Pedro (£4.3m) on 216 points – the Brighton forward was unavailable at the weekend.
The impressive haul boosted Haaland’s points-per-game average to 9.4 points in 2023/24 – once again putting him top of the key metric.
At the time of writing, he’s the joint-fifth best performer of Gameweek 23 but he’s not done yet.
City’s No9 needs just four points against Copenhagen on Tuesday night to overtake Declan Rice (£3.4m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.5m), who banked 17 points each against West Ham.
With Pep Guardiola’s side heavy favourites to win in the Danish capital, it’s a likely outcome.
APHaaland currently features in 73.6% of Dream Teams[/caption]
Haaland finishing as the top scorer of the Gameweek would be nothing more than confirmation of what most Dream Team bosses know already – he is a must-have asset when fit and the default captaincy option.
His latest brace moved him onto 21 goals for the season, the highest tally among all Premier League players.
He’s also the first player to register 50 shots on target – only three others have recorded more than 40.
These stats are even more ominous considering Haaland gave most of his rivals a chance to catch up while he was sidelined for the best part of seven Gameweeks.
A reminder that this is the first of FOUR consecutive double Gameweeks for Haaland and company…
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