Pep Guardiola reveals why Erling Haaland so ‘incredible’ as superstar striker aims cheeky jibe at Man City boss
Pep Guardiola hailed the ‘incredible’ all-round performance of Erling Haaland after the striker scored five goals as Manchester City thrashed RB Leipzig.
Haaland, 22, had struggled to find the net in recent times compared to his blistering start for City. But he had a hat-trick under his belt by half-time, adding two more goals after the break. Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin de Bruyne also found the net as City won 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
That gave them an 8-1 aggregate victory and a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. City steamrollered the Bundesliga outfit and Guardiola paid tribute to his charges after the match.
“It was a really good performance from minute one until the end from everyone,” he told BT Sport.
“We play very good with and without the ball. We scored a lot of goals. Erling was amazing but everyone was exceptional.”
Haaland has now scored an incredible 39 goals in all competitions since arriving at the north-west giants.
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And Guardiola listed the qualities that make the Norway interantional such a phenomenal player.
“Five in 60 minutes,” he added. “Incredible guy, huge talent. Power, mentality, he’s a serial winner. Really good.”
But pressed on whether City missed having the Scandinavian in the ranks during previous European campaigns, the Spaniard was not so sure.
“I don’t think so. The reason why we concede a lot of goals we give the opponent,” he continued. “We scored four goals here against Real Madrid, six against Monaco, four against Tottenham.
“A lot of the time we were out because we conceded a lot.”
Haaland did not see goal rush coming
After finding the net just once in four games, Haaland bagged a penalty against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
And the former Borussia Dortmund ace confessed that he did not expect to notch five times.
“My super strength is scoring goals,” he said. “Should I be honest? A lot of goals today, I didn’t think.
“I was just trying to get it into the back of the net. A lot of it is being quick in the mind and trying to put it where the goalkeeper is not.”
Haaland irked by Guardiola decision
The tie was virtually over by the interval but Haaland returned for the second period. His quick-fire double on 53 and 57 minutes meant there was plenty of time for him to score six.
However, the manager substituted him just after the hour mark, leaving the striker non-plussed.
He added: “I told him [Guardiola] I would love to score a double hat-trick but what can I do?”
Haaland’s next task is to help Manchester City progress to the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They host Burney in the last-eight clash on Saturday.
The Clarets may be flying high in the Championship but facing a City side on fire after their Euroepan exploits is a different kettle of fish.
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