RB Salzburg's Erling Haaland scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut


Name a better love story than Erling Braut Haaland and goals. We'll wait.

If that distinctly Norwegian name seems to ring a bell, it's probably because he scored nine goals - yes, a triple hat-trick - during an absolute demolition of Honduras at the U20 World Cup.

However, while there haven't been any near-double-figure hauls since then, the goals certainly haven't dried up either and Haaland has been nothing short of a goal machine this season.

Newly plying his trade at Red Bull Salzburg after leaving Molde in August 2018, the young striker had already scored an astonishing 14 goals in eight games going into the mid-week fixtures.

And despite having never played in the Champions League before, Haaland took to the competition like a duck to water and completely blew away Genk with a first-half hat-trick.

Haaland's stunning Champions League debut

We can barely believe our own words when we say that's already his fourth treble of the season and the Austrian Bundesliga only kicked off 53 days ago.

Naturally, Haaland opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game, sweeping home with his right foot after being played into the penalty area by Takumi Minamino.

Fast forward to the 34th minute and Haaland doubled his tally for the evening with a one-on-one finish, before guaranteeing the match-ball with a close-range finish before the break.


Remarkable statistics this season

That strike, combined with efforts from Hwang Hee-Chan and Dominik Szoboszlai, meant that the home side returned to the dressing room with a whopping 5-1 lead.

And for Haaland personally, it gave him the distinction of being the first player since a certain Wayne Rooney to score three goals on his Champions League bow.

Don't be surprised if transfer links to Manchester United - given his association with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - go through the roof after yet another incredible display.

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