Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to do better in Manchester City’s upcoming games. The Spanish boss thinks it’s just a matter of adapting to the new country and the new league before you start scoring goals.
Haaland had a game to forget against Liverpool when they lost in the Community Shield on July 30. The Norwegian missed a few chances as the Reds won the Community Shield 3-1.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez scored for Jurgen Klopp’s side while Julian Alvarez netted a lone goal for the Cityzens.
Speaking after the loss, Guardiola wasn’t interested in throwing Haaland under the bus. He backed the striker to do better in the upcoming games and told a press conference (via Manchester City website):
“He had chances – two or three in the first half and one at the end. He was always there. He fought a lot and made the moves. It’s good for him to see the reality of the new country, from the new league. He was Today he didn’t score – another day he will score.”
Haaland joined the Cityzens in the summer from Borussia Dortmund for around £85.5m. He scored 85 goals and provided 22 assists in 88 appearances for the German side.
Manchester City lose to Liverpool as Erling Haaland fails to impress
Liverpool lifted the Community Shield on Saturday after a 3-1 win over Manchester City. The Reds took the lead through Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first half.
New signing Julian Alvarez opened his account for the Cityzens with the equalizer in the 70th minute.
Ruben Dias’ handball from a Darwin Nunez header allowed Mohamed Salah to score from the spot seven minutes from time. The Egyptian was not mistaken in giving the advantage to his camp.
Nunez then sealed the victory with a goal in stoppage time.
Meanwhile, Haaland missed from close range, hitting the crossbar, in the dying seconds.
However, Guardiola was still happy with the work his team did and said:
“We’ve had two more weeks and a few days since we started, but in general they gave their all. I told the players I’m proud of how they gave their all. Now we have to improve. We need this month of training to get our rhythm and we will.”
He added that his team was better after the initial press and said:
“The first 15, 20 minutes they were better. They picked up the pace and after we had our game – it was quite similar the last 25 minutes [of the first half], we arrive when they leave space and try to attack. In the second half we started very well, it was close after the goal and our game was there. We were really good against this team, even in the first half we created enough chances to do that.”
Manchester City are absent at West Ham United in their opener on August 7, while Liverpool face newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage on August 6.