Erling Haaland continues his hot streak with Manchester City, beats Sevilla | Champions League

Erling Haaland is inevitable. That, at least, is how it felt in Seville, and how it started to feel in stadiums all around. Pep Guardiola insisted that it was not just about the Norwegian and that if Manchester City did not play well they would not win. Here, they played well – reflected in Ederson’s first save, an easy save, and they didn’t get there until the 80th minute – they actually won, and he scored. Well of course. Twice, actually. The man who ran a goal every 44 minutes had two more goals in 60 en route to a 4-0 win as the last Champions League The campaign opens.

What was expected, and demands that they win everything, should not obscure excellence. for SevilleCertainly, there was a feeling that this would always happen somehow, and that they would not be able to live with City. One of the headlines had previously said: “And to beat it all, Man City.”

Sevilla are in crisis, with one point from their first four games marking their worst start to a season in 41 years. The last thing they wanted was Pep Guardiola’s team: the last thing they wanted was for him.

The last time they faced each other, Haaland scored four out of five in Dortmund in a 5-4 aggregate score. Here, in this stadium, you could hear the fear every time he ran. Breathing was audible, and the sound of take-off against the ball resounded in a circular motion.

The ground was empty then, which may have exaggerated that feeling. It was not empty now, after 18 months, Guardiola called on people not to miss the opportunity to visit a “private” stadium and, despite all their problems, they raised the roof.

There was a roar when Papu Gomez produced nutmeg early and it seemed that trying to hold their team momentarily might work. Seville had a bright start. It was also a short, moment of tension within their territory at 11 minutes, indicating that they had already realized that this might be a long night where it wouldn’t be easy to find a way out.

City settled into control, Jack Grealish coming in and hitting the side netting at the near post. As Haaland started accelerating from midfield, Sevilla had a familiar feeling, as he backed off but knew he wasn’t going to go. Kevin De Bruyne hit twice wild shots over the bar. Marcos Acuña had to cut off Phil Foden’s toe. It was harsh, in its own way: not severe, as such, not stormy, but insistent. Then came the goal, the inevitability around it – in execution as much as expectation.

A movement that has been seen a thousand times before and can only be seen a thousand times, Foden witnessed that little diagonal pass to one side of the linebacker. De Bruyne passed him on the other to collect and drag him through the six-yard box. Haaland was diving in, sticking out his foot.

Erling Haaland rushes to open the scoring against Seville. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Soon there were whistles from the Sevilla fans, frustrated with how easily City held the ball, getting to something, anything. This was reflected by the roar that hit the first corner and the first shot that came with it, as Acuña’s shot traveled a long way but still got a “huuy” as if it was closer. The sound was louder again when Jesus Navas, Thomas Delaney and Papo meticulously combined for the latter to strike the ball, a sign that they might be able to play for a bit after all.

When Seville pressed, there was a sense of life, of rebellion, and the voice rose. But insisting that they do so also felt it might have been an invitation to the trap, and the second half brought more chances, more space and more goals for City. De Bruyne, who was off defence, was blocked by a superb Bono save, Haaland could have had a slightly better header, and Cancelo fired a long shot before Rodri bowed. Then came the second goal, just as Sevilla went up.

City played his way through the press – only – and left again. Finding space to run, Cancelo found Foden, and within the area, he moved from foot to foot, away from Nemanja Godeli, finished neatly, and with his low efforts he went into the corner. A great pass from De Bruyne, spinning and turning to the right, then started a move that ended with City scoring the ball into the net. Flag rose. It didn’t matter, but what happened next happened. Foden was at this time, and although Bono was saved, Haaland was there to bring him home.

It was withdrawn soon after. It was done here, another destruction was completed. But the city was not. Robin Dias finishes fourth in overtime.