Andreas Pereira’s penalty looked to have earned Fulham a point at the Etihad Stadium, but Haaland won it for Pep Guardiola’s side at the death, converting after Antonee Robinson had fouled Kevin De Bruyne inside the box.
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All eyes were on the prolific Norwegian after his Premier League bow brought a match-winning brace at West Ham last weekend, but instead it was Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden who did the damage at the Etihad Stadium before a late own goal from Jefferson Lerma.
Since arriving for a £68.4m fee from Wolfsburg in the summer of 2015, De Bruyne has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most influential midfielders.
After Arsenal’s Thierry Henry and Manchester United duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Nemanja Vidic, the 30-year-old joins an exclusive group of players to win the award in more than one campaign.
The Belgian playmaker fired home from a tight angle after Phil Foden came off the bench to stunning effect in a tense and tight first leg at the Etihad Stadium.
Burnley remain in the bottom three and could be seven points from safety if Everton beat West Ham tomorrow afternoon.
A game of few chances was brought to life by the Belgian 20 minutes from time as he curled home the only goal from outside the box to seal a 12th consecutive league win for the champions.
The hosts scored four goals during the first 25 minutes with Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan on the score sheet, while Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling scored from the penalty spot.
The Seagulls were held to a goalless stalemate by basement side Norwich City last time out, while the champions eased to a comprehensive 2-0 success over Burnley.
In spite of the goals and win, it was another lacklustre display from Pep Guardiola’s side against a winless opponent.
Sources have told ESPN that Man City are closing in on a deal for Ronaldo, while Messi will be embarking on his first Champions League campaign away from Barcelona after joining PSG earlier this month.
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant few months – winning the Champions League final with Chelsea before mirroring those feats at international level as Italy became Euro 2020 champions.
Both Champions League finalists boast players which make up the final three places for the prestigious award, with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Kevin De Bruyne set to battle it out for the honour.
Belgium were given an early warning of what was to come when Leonardo Bonnuci saw an early goal chalked off for offside.
All the top teams vying for the title are coming into the tournament to face tough competition.
Centre back Dias was named England’s Footballer of the Year in the annual vote of the Football Writers’ Association last month following a superb debut campaign after his move from Benfica last year.
The announcement also included the nominations for the women’s prize, as well as the best young players and team of the season for both men and women.
De Bruyne was in floods of tears as he had to be substituted in the 60th minute of the game in Porto before City slumped to a 1-0 defeat to miss out on the club’s first ever European success.
The prize money was increased to £180 million after the Premier League’s broadcasting deals from 2019-20 season.
Dias has made 31 top-flight appearances for Pep Guardiola’s triumphant side after joining for a club-record £65 million from Benfica last September.