Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski: The deadly duo facing their former clubs on Matchday 2 of the Champions League

We take a look at how the star strikers are performing so far this season before they face their former clubs in the Champions League

By James Descombes Published: 12 September 2022 - 4.47pm
erling haaland and robert lewandowski in a pre-season friendly between Man City and Barcelona

Manchester City and Barcelona both spent big on strikers this summer in the hope that their new number 9s can fire them to European glory.

Matchday 2 sees both players face their former clubs, with Erling Haaland hosting Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad and Robert Lewandowski returning to the Allianz Arena to take on Bayern Munich.

You can catch both Champions League matches live on BT Sport this week:

Tuesday 13 September:

Bayern Munich vs Barcelona – 7.45pm (8pm KO) on BT Sport 5

Wednesday 14 September

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund – 7pm (KO 8pm) on BT Sport 2 and Ultimate 

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The goalscoring monster

For Pep Guardiola, acquiring Erling Haaland from Dortmund was a no-brainer. The Norwegian is the son of ex-Manchester City player Alfe-Inge Haaland and it seemed destined that Erling would follow in his father’s footsteps.

But even without those family ties, we suspect Pep and the club’s owners would’ve been in for the big man. Haaland scored freely in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League before City decided to splash the cash.

During his time in Germany he found the net 62 times in 67 matches, adding 19 assists to his name in the process. In Europe’s elite club competition he scored 15 in 13 games. He also managed eight goals in seven Champions League appearances for RB Salzburg.

In the summer, City did what everyone expected them to do – paid Haaland’s release clause of just over £50m to secure his services: an absolute bargain in today's transfer market.

Haaland has started this season on fire, taking to the Premier League like a duck to water. He already has 10 goals in six league games – the only surprise is that he drew a blank against Bournemouth. In his Champions League debut for The Citizens, Haaland bagged a brace.

Next up is his former club Dortmund, who are a little off the pace so far this season, currently sitting fifth in their domestic league off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Leipzig. However, they did win their opening group game in the Champions League 3-0 against Copenhagen. Their ties against Sevilla are likely to determine their fate in this year's competition.

We suspect Haaland will be relishing playing against Dortmund in front of his new adoring fans, and also in front of his old ones at the Westfalenstadion later on in the season. 

LewanGOALski

Barcelona, and the rest of the world, knew exactly what the club were getting when they signed Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich in the summer.

The big Pole is a seasoned scorer, arguably the greatest in the world, guaranteed to get goals wherever he plays. Still, the signing raised some eyebrows.

In 2019, Lewandowski signed a contract extension keeping him at Bayern until June 2023. However last summer Barcelona spent close to £50m to acquire his services a year early.

That’s a lot of money for a player who is just about to turn 34 years old, especially for a club whose finances have increasingly been under scrutiny.

It wasn’t just Lewandowski that the Catalans brought in during the transfer window; it was a busy summer for the club, with Raphinha, Joules Kounde, Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Hector Bellerin also the Blaugrana.

Some players were loaned out or sold, such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it was clear that Barca were trying to rebuild a squad that could compete with current European champions Real Madrid.

Lewandowski is a major part of the puzzle in helping Barca achieve that. In 187 games for Dortmund he scored 103 goals before moving to Bayern Munich, where he scored 344 in 375 on the way to collecting eight Bundesliga titles in eight seasons.

Things got a bit spikey between the player and the German club before he left, with Lewandowski stating that he didn’t want to continue playing for the club before making it clear that he wanted to play for Barcelona.

Upon leaving the club Lewandowski told ESPN: "The club tried to come up with an argument why they can sell me to another club because it might have been difficult to explain to the fans. And I had to accept that, even though a lot of b****** was said about me.”

It’s fair to say he’s hit the ground running for Barca. Despite not scoring on his debut as his side drew 0-0 with Vallecano, Lewandowski has gone on to score six goals in five Liga games. On top of his efforts domestically, Lewa celebrated his Champions League debut for his new club with a hat-trick against Czech side Viktoria Plzen on Matchday 1 last time out.

He started that night as the joint-third top goalscorer in the competition’s history alongside Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. But now Lewandowski has that spot all to himself, with 89 goals in 107 appearances (although he’s some way behind both Messi and Ronaldo). 

As it currently stands, Lewandowski has one of the best goals to games ratios of all the top scorers in the competition at 0.83 (higher than Messi and Ronaldo). Erling Haaland has the highest of them all though – with 25 goals in 20 appearances (a ratio of 1.25).

It will be fascinating to see how these two elite strikers perform against their former clubs on Matchday 2. 

Haaland

Age

22

CL Apps

20

CL Goals

25

Ratio

1.25

CL Trophies

0

Lewandowski

Age

34

CL Apps

107

CL Goals

89

Ratio

0.83

CL Trophies

1

Age

CL Apps

CL Goals

Ratio

CL Trophies

Haaland

22

20

25

1.25

0

Lewandowski

34

107

89

0.83

1