How many goals did Haaland’s father score for Manchester City?
Erling Haaland has 17 goals in 11 games for Manchester City - already quite a lot more than his father, midfielder Alf-Inge, scored for the Premier League club.
While Erling Haaland has immediately set about scoring goals on an industrial scale for Manchester City, his father, Alf-Inge, didn’t bother the onion bag quite so frequently during his time as a player for the Sky Blues. That is, it should be stressed right away, hardly a huge surprise. His son may be the dictionary definition of the goal-hungry striker, but Haaland Sr was a deep-lying midfielder - and sometimes a defender - with very different priorities. He was also playing in an indescribably inferior team.
Since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Erling has racked up 17 goals in his first 11 appearances for City, including 14 in eight in the Premier League. At the end of August, he set a new record for goals scored by a player in his first five Premier League matches, going one better than the eight managed by Sergio Agüero, also for City, and Coventry City’s Micky Quinn. On Sunday, he hit his third league hat-trick already this term in a 6-3 derby thumping of Manchester United. In the Champions League, the 22-year-old has netted three in two for City, his double in September’s matchday-one win over Sevilla making him the youngest player ever to reach 25 career goals in the competition.
Alf-Inge Haaland’s Manchester City goal tally
As for Alf-Inge, who made 47 appearances for Manchester City after signing from Leeds United in June 2000, he scored three times for the club.
Clearly, he was never going to find the net at anything like the rate of his son - Erling equalled his father’s City tally within four games - but Alf-Inge actually made a fairly sprightly goalscoring start to life at the club, given the position he played in. After all, each of his three City strikes came within his first 18 Premier League appearances for a side who, under manager Joe Royle, had secured consecutive promotions to rise from the third tier back to the top flight.
Alf-Inge’s City goals: one by one
The midfielder’s first goal for City came in August 2000, in a 4-2 win over Sunderland at Maine Road, the Citizens’ former home. And, it must be said, it was the kind of finish that one would more readily associate with a fox-in-the-box centre-forward such as Haaland Jr. Receiving the ball on the turn from Spencer Prior, George Weah - who by this point must surely have been somewhere in his 50s - advances towards the Sunderland box, before spying Paulo Wanchope’s run to the byline. Wanchope, who went on to score three himself that day, then squared the ball into the six-yard area, where Haaland had raced forward to prod home.
You can watch the goal - at 8:00 - in these highlights of the game:
In October, Alf-Inge scored his second, and penultimate, goal for City, rounding off a 2-0 victory over Bradford City. We couldn’t immediately find any footage of it, but the BBC’s match report from Maine Road offers the following description: “Manchester City extended their lead almost on the half time whistle after [Stuart] McCall handled at the edge of the box. [Mark] Kennedy touched the free-kick to Haaland and his shot was deflected by McCall as he broke from the wall, and the ball flew past [goalkeeper Matt] Clarke who was well beaten.”
Finally, Alf-Inge was also on the scoresheet in a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa in December 2000 - and, once more, you’d have to say it’s a goal that can safely be filed away under the category ‘striker’s finish’. It’s delicious build-up play, too, again involving Wanchope. Receiving the ball just outside the Villa box, the Costa Rican had three men on him, but that didn’t matter; he promptly took out the home defence with an outrageous backheel, leaving Haaland one on one with keeper David James. The Norwegian took it first time, and gave James no chance.
Here is the goal:
Premier League career was soon over
As far as goals were concerned, that was that for Haaland at City, and at the elite level. He made just 25 more appearances for the club, before retiring in 2003 because of a persistent knee injury - though not, it seems, a knee injury inflicted on him by a vengeful Roy Keane.
In all, Alf-Inge scored 18 goals in English football: together with his three for City, he also netted seven for Nottingham Forest between 1993 and 1997, and eight in his three seasons at Leeds before moving to Manchester. He was never on target in the 34 games he played for Norway, but did add a 19th goal to his career tally when he briefly came out of retirement a decade ago, playing a handful of games for Bryne FK 3 and Rosselund in the Norwegian lower leagues.