Erling Haaland said he is hungry for more goals and glory after scoring a hat-trick in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Fulham to put Manchester City on top of the Premier League.
The Norwegian’s 52-goal campaign helped City win the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in his first season at the club.
City have since added the UEFA Super Cup to their collection and have picked up maximum points from their opening four games of the Premier League season.
“I’m always hungry,” said Haaland. “It’s a new season and I’m ready for it.”
Despite those positive results, though, City have been far from their sparkling best in the first month of the new season.
“Every year is like this at this club. We start a bit late and a bit sloppy because we play right until the last game (of the season) because we are the best club,” said Haaland.
“It is how it is. We will only get better and better from here.”
Without the presence of Pep Guardiola on the touchline, as he recovers from back surgery in his native Catalonia, the home side failed to muster a shot on target in the first half hour against Fulham.
Even after Julian Alvarez opened the scoring from Haaland’s cross, Fulham responded almost immediately when Tim Ream tapped home from a corner.
City needed a controversial second goal to go in ahead at half-time.
Nathan Ake headed in Phil Foden’s cross but Manuel Akanji, who was standing in an offside position, jumped over the ball to distract Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
“The moment for the second City goal made a huge impact in the game,” said Fulham boss Marco Silva.
“A bad decision from the linesman and then someone in the (VAR) office to not disallow this goal is incredible.”
Haaland then took centre stage as he slotted home from Phil Foden’s through ball.
The Norwegian had missed from the penalty spot at Sheffield United last weekend, but made no mistake after Alvarez had been felled inside the area.
Haaland then rounded off his seventh City hat-trick with a clinical finish in stoppage time.
“This guy was born scoring goals and he will go through his whole life scoring goals,” said City assistant boss Juanma Lillo, who took caretaker charge in Guardiola’s absence.
“It would be no surprise if he manages to get the same figures as last year but it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t.
“Today he was great at providing for other players, he gave one assist and has this importance to other players, it’s not about just scoring goals.”