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Gary Neville pays the ultimate tribute to Erling Haaland after derby wonder show

Haaland took his goal tally in the Premier League this season to 14 after just eight games wirg hat-trick in City’s 6-3 win against Manchester United.

Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates their sides third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)© Manchester City FC via Getty Ima

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Gary Neville has paid the ultimate tribute to Manchester City striker Erling Haaland after his latest wonder show in the Manchester derby.

Haaland took his goal tally in the Premier League this season to 14 after just eight games for City as he scored a hat-trick in City’s 6-3 win against local rivals Manchester United on Sunday.

His latest treble ensured became the first player to score three successive hat-tricks in home matches in the competition.

His performance inspired United legend Neville to-suggest the Norwegian striker has taken the place of Cristiano Ronaldo in a new era of world class players.

“Manchester United had a player on the bench in Cristiano Ronaldo who has been world-class for 10-15 years. But we're seeing the next generation of world-class player. That's what we've seen here,” Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.

"To start with, you've got to give credit to Manchester City, their football and their outstanding players, their outstanding manager and their striker. Sometimes, you see everything right - the physical attributes, the technical attributes, the attitude. And then you get genuine world-class.

"I know Phil Foden also scored a hat-trick, he's a local boy and he should be incredibly proud. He's a brilliant English player but Erling Haaland is something completely different.

"We're in the presence of something really special and I think we know that with the numbers he's hit at the start of this season. He makes very difficult things look very easy.

“He's unplayable. That's the takeaway from the game. Obviously, well done to Manchester City and we've seen some fantastic players at this club with Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero - many great players. But this player has the ability to be something that peaks everything.”

Neville went on to suggest Haaland does not have weaknesses in his game, as he suggested his signing has taken City to the next level.

"City were playing well and were dominant but Haaland took the game by the scruff of the neck,” he added.

"We've seen City dominant for five, six, seven years, whatever it's been. But then you combine that explosion with the possession they have, and it's different.

“He has the ability to take games away from teams on his own. The great players have the ability to either pull a game back when it never looks likely or in games which are 1-0 all of sudden become 4-0.

“It wasn't a surprise to me to learn he'd had the lowest number of touches in the City team as he'd hardly been in the game - and that's become the norm now. The one thing I spoke to him about the other day was that for a young player he has great patience.

"We've seen young players over the years and ordinarily they're eager to get involved - this could be a goalkeeper or a striker. But Haaland plays like a 26 or 27-year-old striker. One that waits and knows that if he times his runs into the right spaces, everything is going to come to him.

“The great thing is his consistency, his patience and his composure. There are no more words left to describe him. Manchester City were already a brilliant team, but with him in it, they're so much more dangerous and exciting.

“City's fourth goal was the sort that sobers you up and makes you realise you're in the presence of a fantastic football team. It was emphatic. I love Gabriel Jesus as a player but Haaland is in a different stratosphere.

“When you think of Zinedine Zidane, the Brazilian Ronaldo, the Portuguese Ronaldo - those types of players who I came across during my career when I felt they were on another level - that's what we're seeing here.”

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