Kevin De Bruyne’s incredible cross to Erling Haaland for Manchester City’s third goal against Manchester United was a carbon copy of one he has delivered in a previous derby fixture at the Etihad Stadium.
De Bruyne laid on two assists for Haaland, who hit a stunning hat-trick and registered a pair of assists himself in the 6-3 hammering on Sunday.
The Belgian playmaker has eight assists in as many games this term and now 94 in 218 appearances overall.
The type of pass he played for Haaland in the 36th minute against United is one he’s conjured up time and time again – though it’s not always been converted into a goal.
In December 2019, City were beaten 2-1 by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United – with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on target.
City had a staggering 72% possession but their only goal was a late consolation header from Nicolas Otamendi.
Gabriel Jesus, City’s previous number nine, had a golden opportunity in the first half when De Bruyne played an identical cross.
It was from more or less the same position, the ball floated in gloriously and right on a plate for the Brazilian.
The former Palmeiras man went with his head and glanced the ball wide of David de Gea’s goal.
Whereas Haaland, with his innate athleticism, was able to stab the ball home at the far post while on the stretch.
Image: Sky SportsJesus was a solid, reliable player for City and finished his stint with a respectable 95 goals in five years.
He’s been in fine form for league leaders Arsenal, hitting five goals in eight appearances following his £45 million summer switch.
But the above clip provides clear evidence for why Haaland, who became the 14th player to receive a 10/10 rating from L’Equipe, is an upgrade on Jesus.
Image: Alamy He’s an absolute killer in those positions and City have bought him to make the difference and put those chances away.