In the away game against Crystal Palace, Harland scored the 28th goal in the Premier League on penalty, and at the same time set the record of the fastest scoring of 28 goals in the Premier League, and helped Manchester City win four consecutive victories and continue to press Arsenal.
After entering 2023, Harland has encountered more and more doubts. The foot injury at the end of October became a turning point in Harland. In the previous 11 Premier League games, Harland scored 17 goals, averaging 1.54 goals per game. In the next 14 Premier League games, Harland scored only 10 goals, averaging 0.71 goals per game, which reduced the efficiency by half.
Absence from the World Cup didn’t bring Harland back to form. In the 10 Premier League matches in 2023, Harland scored only 6 goals, and failed to score in 6 games. In the last 6 games, Harland only scored against Arsenal and Bournemouth.
With the decline of Harland’s form, the debate about whether he can adapt to the Premier League and Manchester City reappears. Legendary defender Carragher pointed out, "Manchester City is playing more slowly now. They will suppress their opponents instead of passing the ball quickly. It is difficult for Harland to play their full potential."
Guardiola said, "I think he is suitable anywhere in the world. A player like him can adapt to any football environment from Africa to South America." So, why is Harland’s efficiency declining? Guardiola pointed out, "Sometimes players are too anxious to pass the ball to him. As a result, our passing rhythm becomes inaccurate, and then we will lose the ball and create conditions for our opponents. "
In the battle against Crystal Palace, Harland and Manchester City still encountered such problems. Manchester City controls the initiative, but it can’t give more support to Harland, and Harland’s state is obviously not at its best.
In the 28th minute of the game, Harland got a good shot from the small restricted area, but his shot was higher than the crossbar. Seeing this scene, Guardiola regretted it. The famous journalist Britz commented, "He doesn’t need to exert himself. All he needs to do is to beat the goalkeeper with a gentle push."
Harland was in a hurry because he couldn’t score the goal. Before the end of the first half, Harland elbowed Geshi when fighting for the header, and the home fans booed, but the referee didn’t show Harland a yellow card. Briz teased, "I’m not sure whether Harland realizes that Geshi is next to his elbow. You really can’t accuse Harland of being intentional."
In the first half, Harland’s performance was a disaster. Apart from missing the opportunity to score, Harland only touched the ball 11 times, and only succeeded once in seven confrontations, which made him score only 5.8 points.
Fortunately, penalties saved Manchester City and Harland. In the 76th minute, Ollie kicked down Gundogan when he returned to defense, and the referee awarded a penalty. Harland, who took the penalty, scored the 28th goal of the season easily.
Against Bournemouth, Harland scored 27 goals, breaking aguero’s single-season scoring record for Manchester City players. After this campaign, Harland has scored 28 goals in the Premier League, continuing to expand this record.
At the same time, Harland scored the 10th away goal in the Premier League, and both the host and guest scored at least 10 goals this season, becoming the second Manchester City player to do this after aguero.
He scored 28 goals in the first 26 rounds, making Harland the fastest Premier League player to score 28 goals in history. The previous record was Andy Cole’s 30 games. Meanwhile, Harland has scored 39 goals (34 goals and 5 assists) in 36 games this season.
In the first leg of the season, Harland scored a hat trick, which was the first time he wore a hat in his Premier League career. After the double kill of Crystal Palace, Harland is one step closer to the Premier League Golden Boot and the Premier League record held by Salah.
As long as he scores five more goals, Harland will surpass Salah and set a new single-season scoring record in the 38th round of the Premier League. As long as he scores seven more goals, Harland will surpass Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, and set a record for scoring goals in the Premier League in a single season.