Kylian Mbappe has been named football's highest earner in the world by Forbes magazine, overtaking Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Messi and Ronaldo had locked out the top spot since 2014, but Mbappe's new deal with Paris Saint-Germain has seen him overtake his PSG team-mate and the Manchester United star.

The France international had been linked with a move to Real Madrid as his previous deal in Paris was set to expire at the end of last season, only for him to sensationally agree to a three-year extension in May to stay at his hometown club.

Forbes' highest earners in football list also takes into account a player's earnings off the field, and Mbappe is not short of significant sponsorship deals, while also starting his own production company in the last year, Zebra Valley.

Messi and Ronaldo are in second and third place as they continue to earn plenty in the autumn years of their careers, while a third PSG player, Neymar, completes the top four.

As well as Ronaldo, Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (fifth) and Manchester City duo Erling Haaland (sixth) and Kevin De Bruyne (10th) are the three other Premier League representatives on the list.

Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski (seventh) and Madrid's Eden Hazard (eighth) are the only two players from LaLiga.

Former Barca star Andres Iniesta is in ninth, despite leaving Europe to play in Japan in 2018.

2022 Forbes highest earners in football top 10 list

1. Kylian Mbappe - PSG: $128m (£115.2m/€130.9m)

2. Lionel Messi - PSG: $120m (£108.0m/€122.7m)

3. Cristiano Ronaldo - Man Utd: $100m (£90.0m/€102.3m)

4. Neymar - PSG: $87m (£78.3m/€88.9m)

5. Mohamed Salah - Liverpool: $53m (£47.7m/€54.2m)

6. Erling Haaland - Man City: $39m (£35.1m/€39.9m)

7. Robert Lewandowski - Barcelona: $35m (£31.5m/€35.8m)

8. Eden Hazard - Real Madrid: $31m (£27.9m/€31.7m)

9. Andres Iniesta - Vissel Kobe: $30m (£27.0m/€30.7m)

10. Kevin De Bruyne - Man City: $29m (£26.1m/€29.7m)

Pep Guardiola will never get sick of talking about Erling Haaland, but he insists comparisons to Lionel Messi are unwelcome.

The Manchester City boss has promised striker Haaland a holiday during the World Cup, because Norway have not qualified, and he may need a break in any case after a breathless start to his career in England.

Haaland has a staggering 14 goals from eight Premier League games already, and Mohamed Salah's record of 32 goals in a 38-game season already looks under serious threat. Kevin De Bruyne was City's top league scorer last season with 15.

Former Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland has stayed healthy and the goals have flowed, just as City's title rivals feared they would.

At this rate, Haaland could finish the season with the sort of haul Messi often brought in for Barcelona during his prime years, regularly scoring more than 50 across all competitions.

Guardiola has been fortunate to coach them both, and he was asked whether the attention foisted on Haaland was the most he has known since having Messi under his wing at Barcelona.

"The people who compare Erling with Leo, I think we don't help," Guardiola said. "How many 'new Messis' appeared in the world of football since I started? Ten, 15?

"Always you fail. Erling has to do his own career, his own job. He's a different player."

Guardiola pointed to the number of times he is asked about Haaland. He also suggested that within other teams, such focus on a big-time player might cause unrest.

"For me, it's OK," Guardiola said. "We're fortunate that the guys who are here accept it perfectly. At other clubs, other people, would not like it.

"Here they are delighted. We have Kevin [De Bruyne] who is an exceptional person and is happy to have him, because both know they can be better playing alongside [each other].

"The same for all of them. We don't have incredible players who say, 'Why do they always talk about just him?'.

"This is why it's a joy to train this type of players."

Guardiola said he would rather Haaland was playing at the World Cup.

"But he's young, and he'll have an opportunity in four years," added the City boss. "Fans want to see the best players possible and Erling is one of them." 

With three hat-tricks in his last three Premier League home games, capped by last week's treble against Manchester United, Haaland is on a special streak.

Southampton visit the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, and while they held City to home and away draws last season, that was before Haaland arrived.

City are the only unbeaten team in the Premier League, following Tottenham's defeat to Arsenal last week, and have won their last eight home games in the competition, scoring three or more goals each time.

Aston Villa were the last team to have a longer run of top-flight home wins while scoring three-plus goals in each game, putting a run of 13 together between December 1930 and September 1931.

Perhaps City will threaten that mark, if Haaland stays fit and in form. Guardiola is bewitched by his striker's movement and how he reads play.

"It's just the fact there's a deflection, and he's there. Why does the ball finish where he is?" said the Spaniard.

"What can I teach? It's complete instincts, it's natural. He did it in Norway, in Austria, in Germany, and he's doing it here."

And yet Guardiola still feels Haaland can improve.

"Every player knows, 'I can do better'," said Guardiola. "In our life we have a chance to always improve until we die, and he's not an exception."

Guardiola is not blind to the potential for Haaland to break records this season.

"It would be good," Guardiola said. "If he continues this rhythm, then you don't have to be a clever person to realise it, but who knows.

"After the Community Shield some people had a lot of doubts; now they have a lot of certainties.

"At the end of the season we'll see, okay, he's scored how many goals, how many chances have we had to win the titles?"

Erling Haaland's stunning form for Manchester City makes it appear as if he is playing against children, so says Kaka.

Haaland netted twice in the first half of City's Champions League 5-0 rout of Copenhagen on Wednesday, before he was taken off at the interval by Pep Guardiola.

It takes Haaland to 19 goals across all competitions in just 12 appearances this season, with the 22-year-old displaying a thoroughly ruthless intent up front.

Kaka, a Ballon d'Or winner in 2007, believes Haaland is playing at a different level to most players, like a proverbial big kid in the playground.

"It is incredible what this guy is doing," Kaka said in his capacity as a pundit on beIN SPORTS. "It seems like he's playing against kids!

"I think he can break all the records. What he's [been] doing [since] the start of the season, it is unbelievable. Congratulations to him. He's ready to play in the top level, like the Premier League.

"He played in the Bundesliga, at a high level as well. But this level in the Premier League and Champions League, it is not easy to score the number of goals he [has].

"It is nice for us to see a forward and a player like him. It is enjoyable. We enjoy it a lot, to see this kind of player."

Haaland has scored 28 goals in 22 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, a goals-per-game record of 1.27; there are 98 teams with a worse goals per game record than him in the competition.

He is also the third player to score in each of his first three Champions League appearances for an English club, after Marouane Chamakh for Arsenal and Ferran Torres for City.

Kaka's fellow pundit Ruud Gullit concurred with his assessment, stating his belief that the marriage of Haaland and City was the correct choice to strengthen both parties.

"I think he went to the right team," he added. "With the way they attack, the way they are in the box, because he doesn't want to run a lot. He just wants to be in the box.

"With his height, he wins the headers. It's almost [like he is] a mixture of three [different] players, or something like that. He is unbelievably quick.

"[He is] exceptional. [Lionel] Messi was a freak of nature, but this guy is as well. He is unbelievable."

Jack Grealish is staggered by the scoring prowess of Manchester City team-mate Erling Haaland after the Norwegian added two more goals to his rapidly rising season total.

Haaland's first-half brace started City on their way to a 5-0 thrashing of Copenhagen in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, with a Davit Khocholava own goal, a Riyad Mahrez penalty and a tap-in from Julian Alvarez completing the rout.

It takes the former Borussia Dortmund striker to 19 goals from 12 games in all competitions for City this season, and Grealish lavished praise on the "humble" 22-year-old.

"It's unbelievable," Grealish said of Haaland in a post-match interview with BT Sport. "I've never witnessed anything like it in my life.

"He's just always there, he's always finishing it and it's a pleasure to play with him at the minute.

"When I was walking back after one of the goals… their keeper said something to me. I was like 'What?', and he was just like 'He's not human'... I was like 'Bro I know, you're telling me'.

"He's unbelievable, a pleasure to play with, he's so humble and great around the place and I'm not just bigging him up, that's the God's honest truth.

"Hopefully he can carry on this form and fire us to glory."

Haaland has scored 28 goals in 22 appearances in the Champions League, a goals per game record of 1.27; there are 98 teams with a worse goals per game record than him in the competition, while he is the third player to score in each of his first three appearances for an English club in the competition, after Marouane Chamakh for Arsenal and Ferran Torres for City.

Grealish had a frustrating night himself in front of goal, unable to find the net despite taking more shots than any other player (six), but he was repeatedly denied by former Liverpool academy goalkeeper Kamil Grabara.

He was a constant thorn in Copenhagen's side otherwise, and produced a run and pass for Mahrez in the build-up to Alvarez's goal.

"I'm loving it at the moment," Grealish said. "The last three or four games I've loved it, I feel back to myself, playing with that sort of freedom and playing with confidence.

"It would help if I got myself on the scoresheet, I was desperate tonight. It's all about enjoying it and winning, and that's what I’m doing at the moment."

It was not only Grealish who was denied by Grabara, who made 12 saves, the joint-most on record by any goalkeeper on their first start in the Champions League, along with Ruslan Nesheret for Dynamo Kyiv against Barcelona in November 2020 (from 2003-04 onwards).

"You know when the luck's not with you," the England international added, before asking the interviewer if the third goal was an own goal. When it was confirmed it was, Grealish joked: "So I didn't get the assist for that either."

The 27-year-old continued: "I started a lot of games recently so obviously I'm thankful to the manager for that.

"I'm enjoying it, playing football with a smile on my face, really settling in now and playing with confidence."

Pep Guardiola has denied claims Erling Haaland has a release clause in his Manchester City contract that would allow him to join Real Madrid on favourable terms.

Haaland has been outstanding since joining City from Borussia Dortmund at the start of the season, netting twice against Copenhagen on Wednesday to take his tally to an astonishing 19 in 12 games.

But before that game, Fernando Sanz – a former Madrid player and later the president of Malaga – had suggested Haaland's deal had an "exit clause" with "very beneficial conditions" for Los Blancos.

Haaland joined City after they activated a clause in his Dortmund contract, but Guardiola insisted after the Copenhagen game there was no truth in the claim.

"It's not true," he told reporters. "He has not got a release clause for Real Madrid or any other team. It's not true. That's all I can say.

"Absolutely not [it is not annoying]. There are rumours and people talk, and you cannot control it. We always have to worry about what we can control.

"The important thing is he can adapt really well, I have the feeling he is happy here. We tried with him and all of them, the people who stayed here, and made them happy. This is the most important thing.

"At the end, what's going to happen in the future? Who knows it? Nobody knows it.

"What's important is he's happy and settled perfectly and incredibly loved by everyone. This is the most important thing."

Haaland was substituted at half-time in the 5-0 win at Copenhagen, missing the chance to score another hat-trick after three in his past three home Premier League games.

Guardiola said the change was not planned, as he explained: "He played a lot of minutes three days ago, the game was under control, and Cole Palmer [his replacement] is an excellent player, a top-class player.

"If the game was tight, Erling would continue to play. But it was better to rest and to think of Southampton, a team we were not able to beat last season. Hopefully this season we can do it."

Guardiola added: "Erling Haaland, what does he want? The same as us; to win the game. He made the hat-tricks to win the games."

Of the performance, in which an own goal, a Riyad Mahrez penalty and Julian Alvarez's close-range finish added to Haaland's double, Guardiola said: "Today we see the reason why these years were really, really successful at this club.

"After Man United, 6-3, a lot of compliments, a lot of nice things, we were able to be humble enough to respect the opponent like every team we play. This is the secret of this team."

Copenhagen coach Jacob Neestrup said his team "have to improve" but accepted: "There was not anything we could do to City.

"There were of course things we could always do better, but we just need to accept we were playing against the best team in the world right now. They are several levels above us."

Erling Haaland "will have a break", Pep Guardiola assured the media after his Manchester derby heroics. Just not yet, it seems.

Concerns around the amount of football Haaland has played since signing for Manchester City are understandable.

Heading into this week's Champions League matches, team-mate Joao Cancelo was the sole outfield player in the Premier League to play more minutes than Haaland across all competitions this season.

Cancelo and Haaland are two of three players – the other being goalkeeper Ederson – to start every City match. Named in the line-up once more against Copenhagen on Wednesday, Haaland made his 12th start in City colours; his 12th of last season, playing at Borussia Dortmund, did not come until December.

Indeed, Haaland had already sustained a thigh injury this time a year ago, and only returned briefly before another lay-off with a hip problem.

Guardiola is well aware of those issues, though, describing City as "lucky" to have "incredible physios".

"Last season, he could not play many games," the City manager said after the 6-3 win over Manchester United. "He was injured all the time."

He added: "Dortmund couldn't do it [keep Haaland fit], and we can do it. That is fantastic for us. That is why I thank them [the medical staff]."

And if there is no immediate risk of injury, of course Guardiola wants to keep sending his superstar striker out to put opponents to the sword.

After two goals in the 5-0 defeat of Copenhagen, Haaland has 19 in those 12 matches. Riyad Mahrez (24) was the only City player to score more in all competitions in the entirety of last season.

City already possessed the best team in England, blessed with a vast array of supreme talents, but Haaland is now the undoubted star of the show.

Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, his goals in the warm-up were cheered louder than any other player's, as was his name as the line-ups were announced.

It was with some inevitability then that Haaland's first touch following kick-off was the opener, steered past Kamil Grabara, who wisely didn't bother to move.

"Who else?" asked the Etihad Stadium's public announcer, as if the role of confirming the goalscorer was even needed.

Haaland spoke last month of his "dream" to score five goals from just five touches – an ambition that does not tally with Guardiola's outlook on the game, as he replied on Sunday: "I don't like that. I want him involved. He can touch the ball many more times."

But Haaland remained as efficient as ever, his second touch a pass to the outstanding Jack Grealish, who in turn found Bernardo Silva for a shot that struck the post.

That was one of only three passes Haaland made in the first half, yet he was involved in everything, attempting four shots.

Perhaps the loudest roar of the night from the Copenhagen fans followed a tackle that robbed Haaland of the ball on halfway. It provided only momentary cheer, though, as the City number nine tapped in a simple second soon enough.

The only way the overmatched visitors could prevent Haaland scoring yet another hat-trick was by themselves prodding beyond Grabara – Davit Khocholava turning in an own goal for the third with Haaland waiting right behind him.

If Guardiola had no sympathy for Copenhagen when he removed Haaland at the break – assuming his words had not cursed the forward with an injury – perhaps he was thinking of poor Julian Alvarez.

The Argentina international's second City start had been overshadowed by Haaland just as his first had, when Alvarez scored two against Nottingham Forest but his team-mate netted three.

There were glimpses of a partnership forming as Haaland's pressing led to a chance from which Alvarez could not get a shot away, but in 235 minutes on the pitch together across seven matches, they have traded just four passes and are yet to combine for a goal – Haaland creating a single chance for Alvarez.

Alvarez is much more like the type of forward City fans have been used to watching under Guardiola – diminutive and busy, but not as clinical as Haaland. Admittedly, few, if any, are.

A second-half penalty was dispatched by Mahrez, with Alvarez watching on when Haaland surely would have snatched the ball for his hat-trick, while the former River Plate man later became the second City player to hit the post from a Grealish pass.

Finally, after another wonderful Grealish run and then a cutback from Mahrez, Alvarez converted the fifth when he simply could not miss in front of an open goal – reward at the end of a slightly frustrating night, if such a thing exists in a 5-0 victory.

Regardless, unless Haaland's injury woes are gone for good, Alvarez will get further chances in the coming months.

But for now, fear for Southampton, who face Haaland on Saturday coming off a 45-minute rest – his longest of the season.

Erling Haaland added two more goals to his ever-increasing season total as Manchester City enjoyed a simple 5-0 win against Copenhagen in the Champions League.

Haaland's first-half brace was followed by a Davit Khocholava own goal, a Riyad Mahrez penalty and a tap-in from Julian Alvarez as Pep Guardiola's side eased to victory at the Etihad Stadium.

That makes it 19 goals in 12 games in all competitions for the former Borussia Dortmund star following his hat-trick in Sunday's derby win over Manchester United.

City have a 100 per cent record in Group G after three games and need just two more points to seal their place in the last 16.

To the surprise of nobody, Haaland opened the scoring inside seven minutes, slamming home Joao Cancelo's low cross with his right foot.

But for the impressive shot-stopping of former Liverpool academy goalkeeper Kamil Grabara it could have been far worse for Copenhagen in the first half, though his parry of Sergio Gomez's shot was tapped in by Haaland for City's second just after the half-hour.

It was three before the break after Gomez's shot from the edge of the box took two deflections, the second of which, off Khocholava, bounced into the net.

Haaland was subbed off at half-time, which may well have irked him considering he would have had a chance at another hat-trick when City were awarded a penalty early for Marko Stamenic's foul on Aymeric Laporte.

It was the left foot of Mahrez, not Haaland, which sent Grabara the wrong way from the spot.

Guardiola gave youth a chance as City cruised in second gear, with Alvarez on hand to make it five after a neat run from Jack Grealish ended in Mahrez supplying the striker with a simple finish.

Chelsea will host Milan on Wednesday in what could well be a must-win fixture for the Blues, who sit last in Champions League Group E.

England has not been a happy hunting ground for Milan, but the group leaders and reigning Serie A champions will be hoping for a change of fortune when they roll into Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mykhaylo Mudryk will get a chance to show why he is considered one of the top young talents in Europe as Shakhtar Donetsk head to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid.

Paris Saint-Germain will look to change their poor historical record against Benfica, with Kylian Mbappe on the brink of becoming the club's record European goalscorer.

Stats Perform has dug up the most interesting facts and angles for each contest on Wednesday.

Chelsea v Milan

This is the first time these two teams will meet in the Champions League since they were in the same group in 1999, with both of those matches ending in draws. They have not met in a competitive game since, with all four of their 21st-century contests coming in the International Champions Cup (Chelsea won three of those with Milan recording one victory).

Chelsea have only lost twice at home to Italian teams in continental competition, collecting eight wins and three draws. They lost to Lazio 1-2 in 2000, and to Inter 1-0 in 2010.

Milan's record in England also gives no reason for optimism, with only one win from 20 tries in European play (D7 L12). 

Olivier Giroud was subbed off in Milan's dramatic 3-1 win over Empoli on Saturday. The France striker could become the 10th player to score for and against Chelsea in the Champions League, and first since Loic Rémy for Lille in December 2019, should he net in this meeting.

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

This is the third consecutive season these sides have met in the group stages. It is the fifth time teams have ever been paired together in three consecutive seasons, and Shakhtar was involved in the most recent occasion as well, against Manchester City from 2017-18 through to 2019-20.

Over the past two seasons, they have split the wins evenly, with Shakhtar winning both games in the 2020-21 campaign, before Madrid triumphed in both fixtures last season.

After a win and a draw in the first two matchdays, Shakhtar boast the highest shot conversion rate in the competition, scoring with five of their 10 shots, including two goals from 21-year-old rising star Mudryk.

On the other side, Vinicius Junior leads the Champions League with 33 chances created and seven assists from open play since the start of last season, and he shares the mantle for most goal involvements at 18 with Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski.

Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain

Benfica are looking to extend their surprisingly strong record against Paris Saint-Germain, having won three of their six previous meetings (1D 2L) in European competitions, including the past three in a row. Their last fixture came in the 2013-14 season, with Benfica winning 2-1 at home.

In fact, Benfica have enjoyed plenty of success while hosting French sides, with five consecutive home wins – twice against Lyon, as well as beating Lille, Monaco and PSG.

However, PSG are a different beast now then they were back in 2014, and have only lost one of their past 11 matches in the group stage (8W 2D).

At only 23, Mbappe can become the club's all-time leading scorer in European competitions with one more goal. He is currently tied at 30 with Edinson Cavani.

RB Leipzig v Celtic

These sides both won their home fixtures when they were matched up in the 2018-19 group stage, and they will be desperate for a result as they enter Wednesday's game with only one point between them in Group F.

Celtic will be looking to make history as they have never won a European game away in Germany (10L 3D), failing to score on nine of those 13 occasions.

But it might be a case of a stoppable force meeting a movable object, as Leipzig have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven home games in the competition. They have only shut out their opponents twice from 15 Champions League home games.

Jota will be the key for Celtic's chances, with his six chances created trailing only Napoli's Piotr Zielinski (eight), while only Madrid star Vinicius is credited with more take-on dribbles (11) than Jota's nine.

Other fixtures:

Manchester City v FC Copenhagen

23 – Manchester City are two games away from tying Manchester United's record of 23 consecutive Champions League home fixtures without a loss. They are unbeaten at home in the competition since 2018.

62 – City's Erling Haaland averages a goal every 62 minutes in the competition, netting 26 goals in 21 appearances. He is well clear of second-placed Mario Gomez, who scored his 26 goals on an average of every 102 minutes.

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

1 – Borussia Dortmund have only won one of their past 11 trips to Spain in the Champions League (L7 D3), but that win came from their most recent opportunity, against Sevilla in February 2021.

3 – Sevilla have failed to score in each of their past three Champions League games. They have never gone four consecutive games in European competition without scoring.

Juventus v Maccabi Haifa

29 – It has been 29 years since Maccabi Haifa defeated an Italian team in European competition (3L 1D), with their only victory coming in 1993 against Parma. 

8 – The Israeli side have lost all eight of their Champions League fixtures since 2002, by a combined aggregate score of 13-1.

Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb

6 – Salzburg can become the first Austrian team to ever go six games unbeaten in the Champions League if they can avoid defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, with three wins and two draws from their past five.

23 – The last time Zagreb kept a clean sheet away from home in this competition was 23 years ago, drawing 0-0 against United at Old Trafford in 1999. Since then, they have conceded 52 goals in 18 away games (2.9 per game).

Alan Shearer expects Erling Haaland to break his record for the number of goals scored in a single Premier League season – should the Manchester City striker remain fit.

Having made a big impact during spells in Austria and Germany with Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund respectively, Haaland has already set a number of records at new club City.

The Norway international became the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three successive home matches with his latest treble against Manchester United on Sunday.

The 22-year old has 14 goals in his first eight appearances in the competition, which is just one fewer than City's top-scorer Kevin De Bruyne managed across the entirety of last season.

Haaland is averaging a goal every 48 minutes in the Premier League – the best rate of any player to have scored more than once in the competition's history.

One long-standing record which may now be in his sights is Shearer's return of 34 goals in the 1994-95 campaign, which matched the record set by Andy Cole the previous season.

While Haaland will have two games fewer to chase down that 34-goal tally, Shearer accepts his – and Cole's – record is now under threat.

"If he stays fit, he's breaking it," Shearer told the Premier League's official website after naming Haaland in his Team of the Week.

Shearer also selected James Maddison in that team after the midfielder scored twice in Leicester City's 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Maddison has been directly involved in 26 Premier League goals since the start of last season, a tally only Harry Kane (34) can better among English players.

Newcastle United great Shearer suggested the 25-year-old should be part of Gareth Southgate's World Cup plans, having not featured for his country since November 2019.

"Are you watching Gareth Southgate?," asked Shearer, who scored a record 260 goals across his Premier League career.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says no player in world football can compete with the standards set by Erling Haaland at his age as he challenged the striker to continue improving.

Haaland made history on Sunday by becoming the first player to score hat-tricks in three successive home Premier League matches as City thumped rivals Manchester United 6-3.

The Norway international has 17 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Borussia Dortmund, where he tallied a prolific 86 goals in 89 games.

Aged 22 years and 47 days, Haaland last month overtook Kylian Mbappe as the youngest player to net 25 Champions League goals, also doing so in the quickest time (20 games).

And Guardiola believes "the numbers speak for themselves" when it comes to Haaland, who will be looking to add to his growing tally in Wednesday's Champions League Group G tie with Copenhagen.

"At his age no one can compete with him. No one," Guardiola said. "We are very happy to have him. In training he is the same – sometimes he does some spectacular things. We are incredibly happy to have him."

Haaland is averaging a goal every 48 minutes in the Premier League, which is the best rate of anyone to have scored more than once in the competition's history.

He has found the net from 42 per cent of his shots (14 goals from 33 attempts) – the best conversion rate of any player with at least 20 efforts since such records were first recorded in the 2003-04 campaign.

Phil Foden, himself aged just 22, scored a hat-trick of his own in the derby thrashing of United and received strong plaudits from his manager. 

"He's an exceptional player who has grown up a lot," Guardiola said at Tuesday's pre-Copenhagen press conference. 

"He's reliable, so intense and clever in everything he does. He can also play every three days. Both he and Haaland know they can do better and hopefully they can do it."

City's win against United was their fourth in a row in all competitions as they extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches.

The reigning English champions are top of their Champions League group thanks to wins over Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund, whereas Copenhagen have just one point and have yet to score.

Indeed, the Danish side have only scored one goal in six Champions League matches against English opponents, with that goal the winner from Marcus Allback in a 1-0 win over United in November 2006.

But with many predicting a routine home victory on Wednesday, Guardiola admits he faces a challenge ensuring his players maintain their high standards no matter who the opposition.

"That's the problem. After the game versus United, it's the biggest issue," said Guardiola, who confirmed Kyle Walker will play no part due to injury. 

"Hopefully I can show them to pay lots of attention. It's not easy to break the structure [Copenhagen] had against Sevilla. I know exactly what they are able to do. 

"They have quality. From goal-kicks, when they have the ball, they don't just play it long. They have courage to play and we have to force them to play long balls. I was surprised how many things they do."

Erling Haaland feels like he belongs to the Premier League as much as he does Manchester City, believes Jamie Carragher.

The Norway international continued his stunning start to life in the English top flight with another hat-trick in Sunday's 6-3 derby demolition job against Manchester United.

It was the Leeds-born attacker's third consecutive three-goal haul in a home league game – a competition first – and furthers his tally for the season to 14 in eight games.

Now, former Liverpool defender Carragher, speaking as a Sky Sports pundit, feels the 22-year-old's talents are something to be savoured by fans up and down the country rather than just at one club.

"He's not just City's, he's the Premier League's [player]," Carragher said on Monday Night Football.

"That's what it feels like to me. It felt like that when he joined, it was something to be enjoyed by the whole Premier League."

Carragher's fellow pundit Gary Neville echoed his sentiments, adding: "I can't think of another time where the Premier League has signed a player in the last 30 years where you've thought [they are] a world star.

"[Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Thierry] Henry, [Virgil] van Dijk, [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Mohamed] Salah – all these players have gone to be some of the best in the world. They weren't that when they signed into the Premier League.

"But what we've signed here is somebody that everybody knew was going to be one of the best in the world."

Erling Haaland shares many of the same qualities as Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to Peter Schmeichel, who has described the Manchester City man as several top strikers "put into one player".

Haaland produced an incredible display as City swatted aside Manchester United for a 6-3 derby win on Sunday, scoring a treble and teeing up two goals for fellow hat-trick hero Phil Foden.

The Norwegian – who has scored 14 goals in his first eight Premier League appearances – has now scored a hat-trick in three successive home league games, becoming the first player to do so in the competition's history.

After watching Haaland tear United apart at the Etihad Stadium, Schmeichel picked out similarities between the 22-year-old and several striking legends.

"The biggest part of a good striker is patience. I played against some of the best strikers, and when they go missing is when you really have to concentrate," the former United and City goalkeeper told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The Cristiano Ronaldos, the Filippo Inzaghis of this world – they disappear then all of a sudden they get the chance.

"When you look at Haaland, you see different players. That Zlatan-like goal, and Ronaldo is in there too. You see top, top strikers in one.

"That is why he is so dangerous. He has the luxury of seeing many top strikers and they are all put into one player."

Haaland's dominant display on Sunday saw him become just the 25th player to record five goal involvements in a Premier League game – and the youngest to ever do so (22 years, 73 days).

In Haaland and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, City have the highest goalscorer and top assist-maker in Europe's top five leagues this season (in all competitions).

Haaland has already found the net 17 times this season, with five of those strikes being laid on by De Bruyne, who has a total of 10 assists in 2022-23.

Bruno Fernandes admitted Manchester United were destined to lose the derby from the opening minutes because they did not trust themselves.

The midfielder was part of a team over-run by a vibrant Manchester City, who tore to a 6-3 victory thanks to hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.

City led 4-0 at half-time and later held a 6-1 cushion, before United grabbed a pair of late replies from substitute Anthony Martial.

It was gruesome watching for anyone on the red side of Manchester, particularly as United had been on a four-game winning run in the Premier League going into the game.

"The belief from the beginning was not the best and I think that caused us many problems and made us concede early goals," said Fernandes.

Fernandes captained United in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire, but he could not imbue the side with the confidence to shake off a rocky start.

"I think the second half was much better," Fernandes said. "We kept control more, we controlled the game whenever we had the ball. We were down on the result, so we had to take some risks.

"And obviously, when we took that risk, we scored straight away. We tried to [go forward] a little bit more, but then we conceded more goals. You can't give that much space to City."

United 'won' the second half 3-2, but it was emphatically City's day.

Fernandes has just one goal and one assist in seven Premier League games this season, after 10 goals and six assists last term.

In the previous campaign he managed 18 goals and 12 assists, so new boss Erik ten Hag will be hoping to draw that mercurial level of form from the Portuguese playmaker, rather than the watered-down version that has been served up of late.

"Obviously, we are really disappointed," said Fernandes, speaking to MUTV. "But now it is time to focus on the next game and understand we have to get back the performances we did before [the international break], and the belief and togetherness, and understand that this cannot get us down. It has to make us improve for the future."

The next game for United is a Europa League meeting with Omonia in Cyprus on Thursday, while they return to Premier League duty at Everton on Sunday.

Haaland used his social media accounts to gloat after his and City's sublime performance, declaring: "Manchester is blue!"

Fernandes and United are in no position to question City's superiority at present, and it is a rebuilding job again, just as it was after the early season losses to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford.

United followed those setbacks by beating Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.

Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Chelsea present their opposition over the next four games, with Fernandes eager to banish the derby blues.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we've had tough games before and won them," he said, "so I think it's about mentality, attitude, togetherness and belief in the process."

Pep Guardiola described Erling Haaland as a born goalscorer after he claimed another hat-trick in Manchester City's derby rout of Manchester United, declaring: "what he is doing, I didn't teach him".

Haaland continued his fine start to life in England by playing a central role in City's 6-3 win over United, clinching a treble and adding two assists for fellow hat-trick hero Phil Foden.

The Norwegian – who has already hit 17 goals in all competitions this season – became the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three successive home games on Sunday.

His tally of five goal contributions at the Etihad Stadium, meanwhile, is the most recorded by a player in a single Premier League Manchester Derby.

Guardiola refused to take credit for the striker's form after the win, saying: "I said it many times and I will say again – what Erling is doing, he did in Norway, Austria and Germany.

"The quality we have alongside him helps him score, but what he is doing, I didn't teach him.

"He has incredible instincts. It comes from his mum and dad. He was born with that."

As well as laying on two goals for Foden, Haaland created a game-high four chances on Sunday, and Guardiola was delighted by the quality of his link-up play.

"I have had incredible centre-forwards in my career," Guardiola continued. "What I liked was in the last period of the game, he was involved. I want him to be involved.

"He became a player to score goals, but I want him in contact with the ball. I like him being part of those situations.

"But of course, he has to put the ball in the net, and he is a fantastic striker." 

Haaland has started all 11 of City's competitive games this term, and Guardiola plans to offer him the opportunity to rest at some point. 

"He will take a break. There will be games he is not going to play," he said.

"We are lucky, last season he could not play many games in a row – here we have incredible physios and thanks to them, he can play every 90 minutes.

"They are so important – with their hands, they allow players to play."

Pep Guardiola described Erling Haaland as a born goalscorer after he claimed another hat-trick in Manchester City's derby rout of Manchester United, declaring: "what he is doing, I didn't teach him".

Haaland continued his fine start to life in England by playing a central role in City's 6-3 win over United, clinching a treble and adding two assists for fellow hat-trick hero Phil Foden.

The Norwegian – who has already hit 17 goals in all competitions this season – became the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three successive home games on Sunday.

His tally of five goal contributions at the Etihad Stadium, meanwhile, is the most recorded by a player in a single Premier League Manchester Derby.

Guardiola refused to take credit for the striker's form after the win, saying: "I said it many times and I will say again – what Erling is doing, he did in Norway, Austria and Germany.

"The quality we have alongside him helps him score, but what he is doing, I didn't teach him.

"He has incredible instincts. It comes from his mum and dad. He was born with that."

As well as laying on two goals for Foden, Haaland created a game-high four chances on Sunday, and Guardiola was delighted by the quality of his link-up play.

"I have had incredible centre-forwards in my career," Guardiola continued. "What I liked was in the last period of the game, he was involved. I want him to be involved.

"He became a player to score goals, but I want him in contact with the ball. I like him being part of those situations.

"But of course, he has to put the ball in the net, and he is a fantastic striker." 

Haaland has started all 11 of City's competitive games this term, and Guardiola plans to offer him the opportunity to rest at some point. 

"He will take a break. There will be games he is not going to play," he said.

"We are lucky, last season he could not play many games in a row – here we have incredible physios and thanks to them, he can play every 90 minutes.

"They are so important – with their hands, they allow players to play."

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