Pep Guardiola defends Erling Haaland after Manchester City debut to forget
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 31
Erling Haaland was not at his best in the Community Shield (Picture: Getty Images)

described ’s performance in the Community Shield as ‘very good’ despite his new star striker having a debut to forget in a shirt.

The summer signing from Borussia Dortmund was not at his best as Guardiola’s side were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool in Leicester.

The Norwegian missed a good chance in the first half when he lunged at a cross with his left foot when maybe his head was the right choice, but it was nothing compared to the opportunity he spurned late on.

After a shot was parried by Adrian, Haaland was free, six yards from goal with the ‘keeper on the ground but he hit the bar with his effort.

The 22-year-old’s touch also let him down a couple of times in the penalty box, but Guardiola said he was pleased with the forward, who showed that he could get in the right positions to score goals, even if he didn’t find the back of the net on Saturday.

‘Very good,’ Guardiola told ITV of Haaland’s performance. ‘He had chances, today he couldn’t convert, but he is an exceptional player.

He added: ‘It is good for him to see the reality in a new country and a new league but he was there. He didn’t score. He has incredible quality and he will do it.

‘He had chances, two or three in the first half and one at the end. He fought a lot and made the movements.’

Dismissing criticism of the Norwegian striker, Guardiola reminded everyone that when Haaland scored in a friendly earlier this month he was widely praised and he will do so again.

‘When Erling Haaland scored in the States, everyone talked about how impressive he was,’ said the Spaniard. ‘He was there and had the chances – nothing changes. He’s strong. Another time he will put it in the net. It’s football.’

It was another summer signing who scored City’s goal as Julian Alvarez came off the bench to equalise in the second half, while Liverpool’s big new arrival, Darwin Nunez, also came on to make an impact.

The Uruguayan won a penalty, which Mo Salah scored to make it 2-1, before Nunez scored in stoppage time to complete a great day for the new signing.


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