MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Erling Haaland’s goals are propelling Manchester City toward a treble of trophies.
Harry Kane, meanwhile, seems powerless to stop Tottenham’s slide.
English soccer’s two most prolific strikers both scored landmark goals on Sunday.
But while Haaland’s 50th in all competitions this season helped City to go top of the table, Kane’s 208th goal in the Premier League could not prevent Spurs from a third loss in four games, albeit in the most dramatic fashion in a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.
Kane is now tied with Wayne Rooney as the Premier League’s second-highest scorer of all time, behind only Alan Shearer on 260.
Trophies, however, continue to elude Kane, even in a season when he has become the all-time record scorer for England and Tottenham.
It is a different story for Haaland, who seems destined to end his first year at City with both silverware and individual honors.
The Norwegian’s third minute penalty in City’s 2-1 win at Fulham saw him score his 34th Premier League goal of the season to tie the record jointly held by Shearer and Andy Cole. While their totals were in 42-game seasons, Haaland’s goals have come in a 38-game campaign, in which the Norwegian still has six more matches to set a new benchmark in English soccer’s top flight.
Crucially, those goals are edging City ever closer to the title.
Haaland opened the scoring from the spot at Craven Cottage, with Carlos Vinicius equalizing for Fulham in the 15th. Julian Alvarez scored the winner in the 36th as the defending champions moved a point ahead of long-time leader Arsenal, with a game in hand.
“Congratulations to Erling, but the best goals (are) the ones to help us achieve our goals this season,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.
Had Guardiola been successful in his pursuit of Kane in the summer of 2021, the Tottenham striker might have already ended his search for a first major trophy of his career.
Instead, Haaland is the man leading City’s attack and its charge toward the title, the Champions League and FA Cup.
Kane has scored 28 goals this season, despite Tottenham unravelling in recent months, with just two wins from its last 11 games.
He volleyed in his 25th league goal to spark an unlikely comeback against Liverpool after Spurs had gone 3-0 down inside 15 minutes at Anfield.
Richarlison headed an equalizer to make it 3-3 in stoppage time, only for Diogo Jota to score the winner almost immediately after.
It left Kane having to front up to explain the latest setback after last week’s humiliating 6-1 loss to Newcastle.
“It was a dreadful start in the first 20 minutes, it’s not the first time it’s happened this season. We need to start understanding big games better,” Kane said. “The table doesn’t lie, where we are doesn’t lie. We’ve got some fantastic players and had moments, but as a team we aren’t playing good enough collectively.”
Kane is out of contract at the end of next season, with increasing speculation about his future.