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Erling Haaland goals against the Premier League ‘big six’: Man City striker’s record against top English teams

Erling Haaland’s Manchester City face Arsenal in a game that will have huge implications for the 2023/24 Premier League title race.

Haaland famously let his hair down, literally, against the Gunners last season as he assisted Kevin De Bruyne twice and scored another to see them win 4-1 at the Etihad. City eventually went on to lift the league title as part of a famous treble, as Haaland set a new record for goals scored in a single Premier League season.

The Norwegian striker set the league alight last season and is firmly on course to win the Golden Boot for the second season running. But many strikers are now judged on their record against the ‘big six’, which means Haaland will need to deliver again when Arsenal visit Manchester on March 31.

The Sporting News takes a look at who the ‘big six’ are, as well as Haaland’s record in the biggest games of the season.

MORE: Why goal difference is so vital in Premier League title races

Who are the Premier League’s ‘big six’?

Before we get into Haaland’s record, let us explain who the ‘big six’ are.

The term “big six” refers to six prominent football clubs in England: Manchester UnitedManchester CityLiverpoolChelseaArsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur.

These clubs have consistently been at the forefront of English football during the Premier League era (1992 onwards), not only for their on-field success but also for their global brand and commercial appeal.

The concept of the big six is a controversial one as some fans argue that their dominance stifles competition and prevents smaller clubs from breaking into the elite status.

We have seen so-called ‘smaller clubs’ challenge in the Premier League, most famously Leicester City in 2015/16 when they went on to win the title, but they remain the league’s dominant forces. There is, however, the prospect of a ‘big seven’ on the horizon, with Newcastle United now bankrolled by the astonishing wealth of the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

Erling Haaland goals against the Premier League ‘big six’

Haaland’s career against the big six in the league got off to a pretty insane start as he bagged a hat-trick in the Manchester derby. He did then, however, go three games without a goal against these sides.

Perhaps the most baffling stat is that as of March 30, 2024, he is yet to score away from home against a team from the big six.

Season Games Goals Assists
2022/23 9 6 4
2023/24* 9 6 3
TOTAL 18 12 7

*Denotes ongoing season

Most goals against Premier League big six

For football fans, especially those engrossed in England’s top flight, judging a player’s performance against the so-called big six has become common practice, especially across social media.

The focus stems from the belief that a player’s ability to deliver against top-tier teams is a true reflection of their quality.

Goals scored or assists provided in matches against clubs like Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs are seen as particularly noteworthy achievements.

Therefore, stats related to performances against the big six hold significant weight in discussions about player form, consistency, and their overall impact on the team.

Below is a list of the leading scorers in league matches against the big six during the Premier League era (so, from 1992/93), as per Statmuse.

All-time list of players with most goals against Premier League ‘big six’

  Player Team Matches Goals Av. goals per min
1. Alan Shearer Newcastle United 129 56 0.43
2. Wayne Rooney Manchester United, Everton 135 45 0.33
3. Sergio Aguero Manchester City 75 44 0.59
4. Jamie Vardy Leicester City 98 43 0.44
5. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea, Leeds United 81 41 0.51
6. Mohamed Salah* Liverpool 68 39 0.58
7. Harry Kane* Tottenham Hotspur 81 39 0.48
8. Thierry Henry Arsenal 61 34 0.56
= Dion Dublin Manchester United, Aston Villa 92 34 0.37
10. Robbie Fowler Liverpool 90 33 0.37
11. Andrew Cole Manchester United, Newcastle United, Manchester City 109 32 0.29

*Denotes active player

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