RB LEIPZIG boss Marco Rose compared Erling Haaland to the Norse God Thor last month.
And for a team who have gone so close in this competition so many times over the years, his arrival must feel heaven sent.
Erling Haaland scored five goals as Manchester City battered RB LeipzigRichard Pelham / The Sun
Haaland was subbed off before he could score his sixthRichard Pelham / The Sun
The Norwegian striker celebrating at full-time with the match ballRichard Pelham / The Sun
Ilkay Gundogan got in on the act after the breakRichard Pelham / The Sun
Kevin De Bruyne put the icing on the cake in injury timeRichard Pelham / The Sun
The big Norwegian’s special powers were on full display in this almighty performance.
He was head and shoulders above the rest with a five-star showing on another record-breaking night for him.
He became only the third player in the history of the competition to score five goals in a single game.
And he also broke the 94 year old club record for the number of goals in a single season.
He now has 39 and they have at least 14 games to go.
Probably more – because it would be a brave man to bet against City going all the way to the final in Istanbul on this evidence.
They have now gone unbeaten in their last 24 home matches in this competition – equalling the record for an English club set by Arsenal.
Leipzig – who are third in the German league – showed in the first leg last month that they are no mugs.
However Pep Guardiola’s men looked in the mood right from the word go here and the visitors quite simply had no answer.
They almost had the perfect start as Kevin De Bruyne – told to get back to basics by his boss this week – looped a cross to the far post.
Skipper Ilkay Gundogan had more time than he realised and thumped his half volley high over the bar.
The first sign Haaland was going to take centre stage came as he chased a long ball over the top and left the defenders for dead but Janis Blaswich out quickly to save with his legs.
However midway through the first half the key moment arrived as Rodri got up highest from a corner and his header hit the arm of Benjamin Henrichs.
The defender had his back to it and probably knew little about it but the Slovenian ref was told by the VAR to go and have a look at the screen.
Harsh as it seemed, he pointed to the spot.
Henrichs got away with a more obvious handball right on the final whistle in the first leg three weeks ago – so perhaps this was karma.
Whatever it was, Haaland didn’t care – stroking his shot just out of the reach of Blaswich’s outstretched left arm.
That was a second penalty in four days for the Norwegian following his winner at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Just 78 seconds later he had scored again after pressurising Blaswich to fluff his clearance.
It was worked back to De Bruyne whose 20 yard shot clattered off the underside of the bar and there was you-know-who to nod in the rebound.
He’s played Leipzig six times in his career now and scored at least twice in four of them.
He also hit the 30 goal mark in the Champions League in just 25 games – beating the previous quickest Ruud van Nistelrooy by nine matches.
There was a scare for City when Ederson came tearing out of his goal and collided with Konrad Laimer.
The Brazilian keeper insisted he got something on the ball – and the ref agreed as he booked Timo Werner for dissent and gave City the free-kick.
Back at the other end Gundogan caught the visitors cold from a free-kick and brought a flying save from Blaswich and Haaland could not quite reach the rebound.
He did not have to wait long for his hat-trick as in first half stoppage time Ruben Dias got his head to De Bruyne’s corner and his effort was clawed onto the post by Blaswich.
The ball rolled along the line and as Amadou Haidara tried to hook it clear it hit the legs of Haaland and bounced in.
This tie was well and truly over – the only question was how many the home side would win by.
Just four minutes after the restart it was four after a sweeping move started by Ederson deep in their own half.
It ended with Gundogan swapping passes with Jack Grealish before thumping a low shot into the corner from the edge of the box.
Yet that was just a sideshow as the focus was soon back on Haaland.
His header from a corner was saved by Blaswich, who also kept out the follow up from Manuel Akanji.
But he was powerless as the Norwegian drilled in the rebound.
And goal number five was similar as Akanji again forced a save from the hapless visiting keeper and Haaland despatched the rebound with a minimum of fuss.
That’s 39 goals for the season now – more than a City player has ever scored in a single campaign – beating Tommy Johnson’s record which has stood since 1928/9.
He scored nine once for Norway Under-20s and that haul looked like it could be in danger.
But just after the hour he was brought off to a standing ovation – maybe Guardiola wanted to spare Leipzig any more pain.
Rose, who managed Haaland at Borussia Dortmund, looked mightily relieved.
De Bruyne was still on though and he curled in a truly special seventh goal from the edge of the box in stoppage time to round off a perfect night.
There was a big hug for Haaland from Pep Guardiola when he came off in the second-halfRichard Pelham / The Sun