'I don't care about that man' - Haaland responds to Keane criticism

Erling Haaland celebrates by putting his thumbs up after scoring his first goal against Wolves

When Roy Keane called Erling Haaland "almost League Two level" after Manchester City drew 0-0 with Arsenal, the forward had not scored in five matches and City had failed to score in a Premier League game at Etihad Stadium for the first time since October 2021.

The Premier League title remained out of City's grasp as then leaders Liverpool sat two points clear of Arsenal and three ahead of the Blues.

But since that disappointing result on 31 March, Pep Guardiola's side have won six league matches on the bounce and are now one point behind frontrunners Arsenal, having played one game less.

And Haaland, 23, has performed a starring role in the resurgence, scoring seven goals in four league matches, including four against Wolves in a 5-1 win on Saturday.

The Norwegian is not only responding brilliantly on the pitch, he is composed off it too.

Asked about Keane's comments after his side's win at Wolves, he told Viaplay: "I don't really care that much about that man, so that's all right."

Keane has history with the Haaland family, having injured Erling's father Alf-Inge with a poor tackle in a Manchester derby in 2001.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports after the draw against Arsenal, Keane said of Haaland: "The levels of his general play is so poor, and not just today. His general play for such a player, it is so poor, I think he has to improve that, he's almost like a League Two player."

Ex-Manchester City defender Micah Richards backed up Keane, adding Haaland's link-up play was "non-existent" against the Gunners.

But against Wolves on Saturday Richards sang Haaland's praises.

"Since he came back from injury, there’s a new-found confidence," he told Sky Sports.

"His all-round general play is the thing I’m most impressed with. He is still a young player, he will improve."

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp agreed, saying Haaland was "a phenomenon" and "an animal in front of goal".

"He wants to destroy teams," he added. "The guy is just built completely differently."

How 'phenomenon' Haaland netted his four goals

Haaland's first and third goals were composed penalties, coming either side of a thunderous headed finish at the back post.

He had his hat-trick wrapped up before the half-time whistle - his sixth in just his 63rd match in the league.

And he netted a deserved fourth in the 54th minute after he raced towards goal, cut inside on to his left foot and curled a thunderous shot into the far corner.

The Norwegian now has 25 Premier League goals for the season and is five clear of Alexander Isak and Cole Palmer in the Golden Boot standings.