Erling Haaland scored twice in Manchester City's 4-4 draw at Chelsea
Erling Haaland has scored 40 goals in 35 Champions League appearances | Photo: AFP AFP News

Manchester City star Erling Haaland has become the fastest and youngest player to reach 40 goals in the UEFA Champions League, breaking Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Kylian Mbappe's record.

Haaland opened the scoring for City as Pep Guardiola's side bounced back after going 2-0 down to beat RB Leipzig 3-2 in their Champions League meeting at the Etihad Satdium on Tuesday. With the win, City maintained their 100 per cent record in the European competition in the 2023-24 campaign.

The goal marked Haaland's 40th strike in the competition in only his 35th appearance, making him the quickest to achieve the landmark. He also achieved the feat in 10 games fewer than the previous record holder, Ruud van Nistelrooy of the Netherlands.

PSG star Mbappe is third fastest to complete 40 goals in the competition, taking 59 matches while two of the finest playmakers of the modern era - Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski - needed 61 games each.

Haaland, at 23 years and 130 days, was also the youngest to reach 40 Champions League goals, breaking the record set by Mbappe in November 2022 (24 years). It was also Haaland's 12th goal in eight appearances against Leipzig, the most he scored against a single side.

Watch: Haaland's record-breaking goal

The Norwegian's latest record has come just a few days after he obliterated the record for 50 Premier League goals - needing 17 matches fewer than Andy Cole, the previous record holder. Haaland bagged the record during City's 1-1 draw with Liverpool, which was his 48th league appearance.

Leipzig's young striker Lois Openda exploited the reigning champions' defence and struck twice early in the first half before Haaland pulled one back for the hosts. Phil Foden made it 2-2 as Leipzig failed to hold onto their lead, with the young England international calmly sliding into the corner. Argentina's Julian Alvarez struck an 87th-minute winner for Guardiola and Co as City made it five out of five in Group G with a game still remaining.

The 3-2 victory on Tuesday also extended City's English record run of unbeaten matches in European competition, having avoided defeat in their last 19 matches across the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. This streak began at the start of last season.

City boss Guardiola, meanwhile, believed his side could have performed better against Leipzig.

"If you talk about qualification, then it's a great night. 15 [points] from 15. If you talk about the game, we could do better, sloppy goals. In football, you have to win duels and it was quite similar against Chelsea. We were solid and now [not].

"We've had two warnings already. But it's the same up front. We had chances and we missed it. Maybe for the future it's good to win that way, not comfortably to realise and to look in the mirror and we have to do better," added Guardiola after his side's 3-2 victory.

Julian Alvarez: City always fight till the end

Alvarez, who has netted eight goals and six assists in 20 games in all competitions for City this season, said they are "always a positive team that fight right until the end".

"I think it is a mentality thing. We know that these games are long and that we have got opportunities to win," the World Cup-winner, who scored the winner after coming off the bench against Leipzig, added.

City are next in action on Sunday when they host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at Etihad Stadium. Two days later, they will travel to West Midlands to take on Aston Villa, who are currently in fourth place in the league table.

Aston Villa have 28 points from 13 matches, just two points behind leaders Arsenal and one behind second-placed City. The Villa Park side are level on points with third-placed Liverpool, who are in third place because of their superior goal difference.