MANCHESTER: replacing Manchester City Erling Haaland converted a 95th-minute penalty to hand the 10 hosts a dramatic 2-1 victory over Fulham on Saturday, a victory that sent the champions back to the top of the Premier League.
Haaland was only deemed fit enough to start on the bench after missing City’s previous two matches through injury, but nothing stopped the Norwegian goalscoring phenom who came on the heels of the hour to lead his exhausted team to victory.
He had a goal ruled offside before scoring the final penalty, his 23rd goal of the season in all competitions, sending City a point clear of Arsenal at the top, despite having played one game more, just when his team seemed to have run out. of ideas.
“I was nervous (for the penalty),” Haaland told Sky Sports. “It was one of the most nervous moments of my life, but fantastic,” he said after City struggled for more than an hour with 10 men after sending off Joao Cancelo in the 26th minute.

“A last-minute penalty, of course, I’d be nervous. But an incredible feeling. I love it. I’ve been injured for a week and it’s really important to win,” added Haaland.
Things started well for a City side who had beaten the other two promoted sides, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, by a combined 10-0 at home before Fulham’s visit, with Argentina striker Julian Alvarez drawing the hosts to the 17th minute.
The champions thought they had quickly doubled their lead through John Stones, but Rodri was offside in the build-up and Fulham capitalized on that reprieve, going straight to the other end and winning a 28th-minute penalty.
City defender Joao Cancelo was shown a red card for knocking Harry Wilson to the ground, with former Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira making no mistakes from the spot as Fulham entered the interval level.

HAALAND INTRODUCES
Haaland was brought on in the 63rd minute and quickly thought he had restored his side’s lead after glancing at the head of a pinpoint cross from Kevin De Bruyne, but VAR intervened to decide the Norwegian was offside.
Even with their numerical disadvantage, it was City who kept coming, with Fulham looking like the 10-man side as the visitors hung on with a few final blocks and put every player behind the ball.
It looked like City had done everything they could until De Bruyne was knocked down in the penalty area, giving Haaland the chance to continue his incredible first season in England.
It wasn’t the most convincing kick, but it found the net to send the Etihad Stadium and City bench into a frenzy.
Haaland has now scored 16 goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances. This is the most goals a player has scored in a 10-game span in the competition, equaling Luis Suarez’s 16 goals ending in December 2013.
Arsenal have a chance to reclaim top spot when they travel to Chelsea on Sunday. Fulham remain eighth in the table with 19 points after a valiant effort in rainy Manchester.
“It was tough for us,” guest coach Marco Silva said. “We have to understand that some mistakes can happen and we have to learn and grow from them.
“The commitment and the attitude were there. We know the reality of the team we play against, but we have to look at each other and try to improve.”



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