Pep Guardiola backs Erling Haaland after disappointing home debut


Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to adapt to the Premier League after a surprisingly quiet showing in Manchester City’s win over Bournemouth.

As expected, the Cityzens beat the Cherries at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon with Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and a Jefferson Lerma own goal proving the difference between the sides.

While Haaland had the assist for Gundogan’s opening goal, he was otherwise rather disappointing on this domestic Premier League debut. The young forward touched the ball just eight times and completed just two passes in the entire game.

After the match, Guardiola explained Haaland’s performance, stating that Bournemouth’s tactics kept him at bay on the day:

“The hardest job in the world is when you’re a striker against [a defense] with three central midfielders, three central defenders and you’re in the middle.

“We will find many situations like that, but it is a matter of time. With the quality of the player we have behind him [Haaland], we will find him.”

Guardiola also discussed the game in general, praising his team’s performance: “We performed really well as a team, a team that was good defensively but also offensively.

“They have a good pattern to hook you and then link up perfectly with the forwards, quite a similar movement to Tottenham and defend so deep and narrow defensively. We started really well, took three or four corners in six or seven minutes, we had chances and after we score one and two and the second half when they don’t want to push, we have to be patient. We are performing really well.”

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