Haaland double sinks Everton

Haaland double sinks Everton

Man City striker back atop Premier League scoring table despite two-month injury layoff

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford watches the ball go behind him as Erling Haaland scores his second goal of the match for Manchester City in their Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. (Photo: Reuters)
Everton keeper Jordan Pickford watches the ball go behind him as Erling Haaland scores his second goal of the match for Manchester City in their Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. (Photo: Reuters)

MANCHESTER - Erling Haaland netted a brace with his first goals since his return from injury to lift Manchester City to a 2-0 home victory over relegation-threatened Everton on Saturday and provisionally into top spot in the Premier League table.

Pep Guardiola’s team have 52 points after 23 matches, while Liverpool — who can reclaim the lead with a win over Burnley later on Saturday — have 51 points, also from 23 games. Everton are in the relegation zone in 18th.

Haaland, who missed almost two months with a broken bone in his foot, netted his 15th and 16th goals of the season to go clear at the top of the Premier League scorers’ list.

The Toffees’ stifling defence frustrated City before the Norwegian striker finally broke the deadlock in the 71st minute when he fired home a blistering shot after a corner kick.

Haaland completed the brace when he ran onto a pass from Kevin De Bruyne in midfield before beating Jarrad Branthwaite and then coolly slotting it past keeper Jordan Pickford.

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