Erling Haaland is already proving himself to be one of the Premier League’s greatest mavericks and Man City’s last game was no different.
Pep Guardiola’s side cruised to a 4-0 win over newly promoted Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium to give them maximum points from two games played.
Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and an own goal from Jefferson Lerma made the difference on the day, with Haaland a notable absentee on the scoring list.
But those wondering why he wasn’t involved need not worry.
The £51million summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund may not have scored, but he did manage to get an assist for himself after launching Gundogan for City’s opener.
Remarkably, that assist was Haaland’s only successful pass from open play, with his other coming as he resumed play early in the second half.
While a 100% success rate is always nice to have, there’s no doubt Haaland will be a bit frustrated with his isolation against Bournemouth.
City had 68 per cent possession but struggled to find the 22-year-old throughout which Guardiola acknowledged this in his post-match press conference.
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In a team that has played for much of the last two years without a centre-forward, Guardiola believes his role is “the most difficult in the world”.
He explained: “The hardest job in the world is when you’re attacking against a [defence] with three central midfielders, three central defenders and you’re in the middle.
“We will find many of these situations but it is a question of time.
“With the quality of player we have behind him, we will find him.”
Striker Gundogan added: “He takes us to a whole new dimension, brings us a whole new quality, and he’s going to score a lot of goals.
“Today he helped me one, so I’ll try to help him a lot more in the future.
“We are very privileged and happy to have him. He is not only a great footballer, he is also a great character.”
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