Who did Hojlund pip to Champions League record?

Thursday 09 November 2023 12:12

There was a stat covered in TNT Sports' live broadcast of Manchester United's UEFA Champions League tie at FC Copenhagen that Rasmus Hojlund had reached five goals in the competition quicker than any other Reds player.

Naturally, this prompted further research into the matter, as the Denmark international is currently working wonders at this level, adding to his strike against Bayern Munich and double at home to Galarasaray with two close-range efforts against his former club.

Hence, Hojlund's five goals in four games means he has reached that number quicker than the previous record-holder, Dwight Yorke.

The Trinidad & Tobago hitman did not net on his European debut for the Reds, a 3-3 draw with Barcelona, but would emerge as a key figure in that Treble-winning campaign of 1998/99, top scoring for Alex Ferguson's men.

Dwight Yorke's exploits in the 1998/99 group stages were legendary.

Yorke was on the scoresheet in away ties with Bayern Munich and Brondby, before breaching the Danes' defence again in the Old Trafford return. A brilliant double in the second 3-3 draw with Barca, at the Nou Camp, made it five in five in the competition for the former Aston Villa ace.

Dwight's regular strike partner, Andy Cole, needed eight games to reach a handful of goals in the Champions League, while deadly Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy took one fewer (seven).

Romelu Lukaku reached the tally in eight matches while others such as David Beckham (three in first four), Dimitar Berbatov (four in two) and Wayne Rooney (three in one) took a while to build on those superb starts to life in the competition with United.

Hojlund has entered the top 30 of United's Champions League goalscorers already, even if he is some way off leading marksman van Nistelrooy on 38.

It is worth remembering this statistic relates to the modern version of the tournament and not the old European Cup, with its straight knockout format. In our first two fixtures in the competition, Dennis Viollet followed up his goal in the 2-0 away win at Anderlecht with four in the 10-0 hammering of the Belgian side at Maine Road in 1956.

'More goals and confidence for Hojlund' Video

'More goals and confidence for Hojlund'

Box to Box | Here, Niall McCaughan and Dion Dublin analyse Rasmus Hojlund's five Champions League goals so far...

Another great striker from that era, Tommy Taylor, hit the net five times in his first five European matches, so is also deserving of recognition here. 

Denis Law has an excellent record of 14 goals in 18 games in the European Cup for the Reds but, a little surprisingly, took 12 outings to register five.