Pep Guardiola explains Erling Haaland replacement as Man City goal machine chases double hat-trick

The Norwegian was replaced by Julian Alvarez after 63 minutes of Tuesday night’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg against RB Leipzig, after lighting up the Etihad Stadium with five goals and drawing a standing ovation by equaling and then overtaking the club of all time. goalscoring record in a single season, which belonged to Tommy Johnson since 1929.

Haaland also became the third player to score five times in the same game in Europe’s elite club competition, and the first in a knockout game since Lionel Messi did it for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen a year ago. at the age of 11.

However, he was unable to complete his double hat-trick as he was pulled off with plenty of time ahead of him ahead of Saturday night’s FA Cup quarter-final at home against Championship leaders Burnley, a side led by city legend Vincent Kompany.

Asked about Haaland’s replacement during his post-match press conference, a mischievous Guardiola joked that the player still had a goal to achieve after sacking City in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“If he reaches that milestone at 22, 23, it will be boring, his life,” he said. “Now he has a goal, that’s why I’m making the substitution.

“I didn’t know that about Messi against Leverkusen, but normally when the game is over I want to let all the players play as much as possible.”

Guardiola went on to describe the remarkable Haaland as a ‘gift’ to City, hailing his enormous talent and winning mentality.

“It was a very good performance from the first minute until the end for everyone,” he said.

“We play very well with and without the ball. We scored a lot of goals. Erling was amazing but everyone was exceptional.

“Five (goals) in 60 minutes. Amazing guy, huge talent. Power, mentality, he’s a serial winner. Very good.”

standard Sport

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