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Erling Haaland without a goal in two Premier League games – and stats show Man City striker is struggling

Manchester City striker Erling Haaland has gone two Premier League games without a goal – a crisis by his own standards.

The 23-year-old was even the subject of some unfair criticism for drawing a blank against Arsenal in a 1-0 defeat at the Emirates before the international break.

Haaland failed to make an impact in Arsenal's win over Man City

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Haaland failed to make an impact in Arsenal’s win over Man CityCredit: Getty
The striker has failed to score in his last two Premier League games

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The striker has failed to score in his last two Premier League gamesCredit: Getty

For just the second time in his English top-flight career, the Norway international failed to have a shot on goal, but any struggling striker will probably tell you they’d be happy if two games without a goal is considered a crisis. But such is his talent, that’s where the usually prolific star finds himself.

Arsenal‘s centre-back partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes limited him to just 23 touches.

That is in addition to losing possession eight times, while he also lost three aerial duels and had an xG of 0.00.

Haaland is now goalless in his last four games in all club competitions, with two coming in the Premier League.

To put that into perspective, he only went two games without a goal just three times in his debut season at City last year.

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, he said: “People are more shocked when I don’t score than when I score!”

He added: “Norwegian media when I don’t score: Goalless! That’s the headline. That’s how it is.

“It’s a good thing. I am not complaining at all but, also, I signed for City to score goals.”

Haaland is still the Premier League's top scorer this season with eight goals

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Haaland is still the Premier League’s top scorer this season with eight goalsCredit: Getty
But he had 14 goals for the Citizens after eight matches last campaign

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But he had 14 goals for the Citizens after eight matches last campaign

Despite his mini goal drought, Haaland is still the Premier League’s top scorer with eight in total.

Only two other players have scored more than the towering centre-forward in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues so far this campaign.

Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy is leading the European Golden Boot race with 13 goals, with Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez finding the back of the net on ten occasions.

England stars Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham, meanwhile, have banged in eight times at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively.

But at this stage of last season, Haaland had already fired in 14 goals.

Taking a closer look at his stunning start from this campaign and last term, the stats show he is indeed making less of an impact.

Though that could be due to Kevin De Bruyne’s absence, with the Belgian notching up 13 assists for Haaland in all competitions last season.

Just like last campaign, Haaland has been ever-present in the opening eight Premier League games, though he has played more minutes this term.

Only two more players in Europe's 'top five' leagues have scored more than Haaland

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Only two more players in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues have scored more than HaalandCredit: Getty
Haaland isn't getting the same service as last season

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Haaland isn’t getting the same service as last season

But he has been nowhere near as prolific, mustering nine goal contributions [eight goals, one assist] compared to 17 last season [14 goals, three assists].

He averaged a whopping 1.89 goals per game last campaign, while scoring on average 1.03 per match this term, still a fantastic rate.

However, he is finding the back of the net every 88.6 minutes as opposed to every 46.5 minutes.

His shot conversion rate is also down from 42.4 per cent to 25 per cent, while he averages just 2.3 shots on target per game instead of 2.7.

With just 51 touches in the opposition’s penalty box, that works out to 6.5 per game, down from 60 touches in the box last season and 8.1 every match.

As well as boasting 17 fewer touches in total with 174 – with Haaand having 22 touches on average a game – he also has lost possession more times, while having 25 fewer successful passes with 64.

The key stats are clearly down from last season, but Haaland’s game isn’t about being involved in the game at all times, it’s about converting chances when he gets them.

And without Kevin De Bruyne pulling the strings in midfield, he simply hasn’t had the service he craves, as shown by his touches in the box and goal involvement.

With De Bruyne not expected to return to action in 2023 due to a hamstring injury, Haaland may continue to have limited chances.

And with Brighton, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool on the horizon, he could find opportunities hard to come by.

But doubt Haaland at your peril, because as fans and players all know, he only needs one sniff at goal to score.

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