The Bundesliga club striker has been linked with a move to the Premier League leader and the Citizens boss admits he is exceptional.
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City’s best chance to stop Erling Haaland is to deprive him of scoring chances ahead of the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night at the Etihad Stadium. The Norwegian international, a real phenomenon, has become one of the most courted players in Europe after scoring 33 goals in 32 appearances for the Bundesliga club this season.
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Manchester City are among the clubs that have been heavily linked with the 20-year-old forward’s move, although Pep Guardiola said last week that Premier League leaders may not be able to afford to replace Sergio Aguero when the attacker will leave this summer. “He is fantastic, everyone knows that. A blind man can realize that he is fantastic, you don’t have to be a manager to achieve it.“Guardiola said of Haaland.
Asked how to stop him, the Manchester City manager added: “Forwards who score goals will score more goals when they are in our box. When they have more minutes as far as our box, they have less chances. Not just Haaland – Vardy, Salah, Gabriel [Jésus], Aguero – all attackers around the world, they want to be there as much as possible. So the best way is to avoid that as much as possible. “
“A painful elimination against Lyon”
With Manchester City 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League, Pep Guardiola’s side have a real opportunity to fight for the quadruple this season, but the Champions League remains the most difficult trophy for them to win. Cityzens, the only one that the Spaniard still misses since joining the English club. Pep Guardiola has won the competition twice with FC Barcelona but has so far failed to pass the quarter-finals with City in four attempts.
Manchester City already have a replacement for Haaland
Last season’s loss to Olympique Lyonnais, who finished seventh in Ligue 1 in the 2019-2020 season, and the Catalan admitted it was painful for a long time. “It stuck in my head for weeks, it was painful I can’t deny it“, added the former Bayern Munich coach.”It was the last game of the season and we wanted to continue. We congratulated Lyon, accepted that we did not do it well or that we did not deserve to pass. ”
“It was painful but in the end what could we do? After a few days you have to wake up and get ready for next season. We’re back in the quarter-finals to try again, but the losses hurt.”, concluded Pep Guardiola. A new elimination in the quarter-finals against Borussia Dortmund would stain Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, who are widely favorites in this double confrontation.