Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to do better in the upcoming games for Manchester City. The Spanish manager believes it is just a matter of him adapting to the new country and league before he starts scoring goals.
Haaland had a match to forget against Liverpool in their defeat in the Community Shield on July 30. The Norwegian missed a couple of chances as the Reds went on to win the Community Shield 3-1.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salahand Darwin Nunez scored for Jurgen Klopp’s side while Julian Alvarez scored a solitary goal for the Cityzens.
Speaking after the loss, Guardiola was not interested in throwing Haaland under the bus. He backed the striker to do better in the games ahead and said in a press conference (via Manchester City’s website):
“He had chances – two or three in the first half and one at the end. Always he was there. He fought a lot and made the movements. It’s good for him to see the reality of the new country, new league. He was there. Today he didn’t score – another day he will score.”
Haaland joined the Cityzens this summer from Borussia Dortmund for around £85.5 million. He scored 85 goals and provided 22 assists in 88 matches 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 via 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’s handball from a Darwin Nunez header gave Mohamed Salah to score from the spot with seven minutes to go. The Egyptian made no mistake in giving his side the lead.
Nunez then sealed the win with a goal deep into stoppage time.
Meanwhile, Haaland missed from close range, hitting the crossbar, in the dying seconds.
However, Guardiola was still happy with the work done by his team and said:
“We’ve had two weeks and a few more days now since we started but in general they gave everything. I said to the players I am proud of how they gave everything. Now, we have to improve. We need this month of training to get our tempo and we will do it.”
He added that his side were better after the initial press and said:
“The first 15, 20 minutes they were better. They got the pace and after we got our game – it was quite similar to the last 25 minutes [of the first half], we arrived when they left space and tried to attack. In the second half we started really well, it was tight 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 it.”
Manchester City are away at West Ham United in their opening game on August 7, while Liverpool play newly-promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage on August 6.