Erling Haaland’s incredible goal record at Manchester City sets him apart from all other players this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said ahead of Wednesday’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland leads the league’s goal-scoring charts with 32 goals, eight more than Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane in second and 12 more than Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who is third on the list.
The Norway international is only one short of breaking Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah’s record for the most goals scored in a 38-game Premier League season.
His total haul this campaign stands at 48 goals in 42 games across all competitions for City, including 12 in the Champions League.
“When you look at the numbers, there is no comparison with anybody else,” Arteta told reporters on Tuesday. “He (Haaland) is able to produce that as well because the setup is done in the right way for him.
“Even with him they have the capacity to play in a different way.”
Arsenal play away to City on Wednesday hoping to regain their grip on the title race after securing draws in their last three games.
Asked how he would stop Haaland if he had to, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola divulged no team secrets, except to say it would be tough.
“What he has shown in his career, not just here, it would be difficult,” Guardiola said.
“But to be a team, to be as athletic as possible. When we played against him when he was at Borussia Dortmund, (the most effective way was) to have 70 to 80 (percent) of the ball, so he’s not involved as much as possible.
“If you have the ball you have more chances, but the game we will play (Wednesday) will be a lot of transitions and duels.(Arsenal) plan to play an aggressive game, almost man to man all around the pitch, that’s why the only man free is the keeper.”
Arsenal’s lead over City has reduced to five points after their recent slump and they have played two more games than Pep Guardiola’s side.
Asked how the north London team are planning to silence Haaland and curtail City, Arteta replied: “We are working on their threats as well as on their weaknesses, we know where they are. City start from the keeper, he is a threat with the ball.
“They can do various things, so many things that you have to adapt to, so you have to focus on certain principles.”
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions but have not won at City in the league since 2015.
City are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions since losing to Tottenham Hotspur in early February, with 13 wins and three draws during that run.