Pep Guardiola demanded a guard of honour from his players and staff to mark Erling Haaland’s Premier League goal record – to show the striker just how special an achievement it is.
Haaland’s finish in a 3-0 win over West Ham means he now has 35 league goals for the season.
He has passed the record previously shared by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole.
“When there is a special occasion, we have to show how special it is,” said Guardiola.
Haaland’s sublime chip over Lukasz Fabianski from Jack Grealish’s through ball took him to 51 goals for the season in all competitions, 12 away from matching Dixie Dean’s all-time best for goals in an English season.
All the Norwegian’s team-mates, plus Guardiola and his backroom team, lined up to acknowledge Haaland as he made his way to the dressing room.
“He is a joy,” Guardiola said.
“Everyone is happy to have him with us. This record will be broken sooner or later, maybe by him in the future, because he will score a lot of goals. But Andy Cole and Alan Shearer are incredible strikers and I think he deserved it.”
Haaland laughed the guard of honour was “painful”, telling Sky Sports: “Everyone hit me on the back.”
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