Saturday won’t be the first time that Erling Haaland has faced off vs Liverpool. So what happened the two previous times?
It’s the Community Shield tomorrow and the first meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City. This one carries particular intrigue, however, as both great sides made a massive change over the summer.
Bizarrely, they made the same change – introducing a traditional no.9. Both had played without one last season and racked up a serious number of points. But they’ve each decided to spend big to change their playing styles, with Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez and City signing Erling Haaland.
Haaland, of course, is one of the biggest prospects in world football and we imagine the bulk of eyes on the game will focus on the Norwegian. For Liverpool, though, this won’t be the first time they’ve faced Haaland.
Erling Haaland vs Liverpool
Haaland broke through at RB Salzburg, of course, and as luck would have it, they were drawn in Liverpool’s Champions League group back in 2019. It meant that the Reds faced off against the young striker right as he was finding his way to superstardom.
In fact, by the time Haaland faced Liverpool at Anfield, he’d scored 17 goals in nine games. That included a hattrick against Genk to kick-off the Champions League campaign. We were certainly excited and wrote at the time that Liverpool would have an advantage in any transfer race as they’d get such a good look at him.
And so it wasn’t a massive surprise when Haaland also scored against Liverpool. The then-19-year-old came off the bench to find the net on 60 minutes – just four minutes after he’d entered the fray.
Liverpool would go on to win a fantastic game of football 4-3, that also featured Takumi Minamino scoring in a brilliant display.
That was game two of the Champions League group and the teams met again on Matchday six. Haaland would start this one, too – but things didn’t go his way.
Liverpool scored in the 57th and 58th minutes through Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah, winning the game 2-0. Haaland didn’t score, then, and was subbed off on 75 minutes.
That was the end of the road for Salzburg in the Champions League that season – but not Haaland. He joined Borussia Dortmund the next month and would score twice against Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16. The striker went on to have a fantastic time in Germany, of course.
Now he’s with City and once again faces off against Liverpool. This will be a very different, improved Haaland, though. Time to see if the Reds can still handle him.