Sebastien Haller broke a Champions League record held by Erling Haaland when he gave Ajax the lead against Sporting CP on Tuesday, matching another feat previously only ever achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Ivory Coast international, who joined in January from West Ham, had difficulty in coming about goals during an 18-month Premier League stint.
His Champions League form has been stellar, though, and the penalty he converted against Sporting was his 10th goal of this season’s group stage.
It made him the quickest player to reach double figures in a Champions League career, doing so in just six games. Norwegian star Haaland previously held that record, having got there in seven appearances.
Haller also became the first player to score in each of his opening six games in the competition.
Cristiano Ronaldo was already a Champions League veteran when he scored in all six of Real Madrid’s 2017-18 group games. That made Ronaldo the first player to have netted in all of his team’s matches at that stage of the competition in a single season.
Haller has now become the second man to achieve that feat, with the 27-year-old’s eighth-minute spot-kick coming after he was fouled by Daniel Braganca.
6 – Sébastien Haller is only the second player in UEFA Champions League history to score in all six matches of a single group stage, after Cristiano Ronaldo in 2017-18. Remarkable. pic.twitter.com/sTw0swWD3c
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 7, 2021
It gave Ajax a 1-0 lead, but they were soon pegged back to 1-1 as Nuno Santos replied in the 22nd minute for Sporting. Antony restored Ajax’s lead before half-time.
Ajax were already assured of winning Group C coming into the final game of the opening stage, with Sporting assured of finishing as runners-up.