Pep Guardiola compared Erling Haaland, Johan Cruyff and Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the prolific Norwegian finished off against his old team a dramatic turnaround as Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola’s side looked set for defeat in the Champions League when Dortmund-headed Jude Bellingham were up front early in the second half, but John Stones equalized them late from long distance before Haaland had the last word with a well-thought-out shot from Joao Cancelo. Shoe cross.
Man City, who have remained top of Group G with the most points from the two games, have been sub-par for most of the match – Stones’ 80th-minute shot was the first on target throughout the evening – but with Haaland in the squad there is always that threat.
It was Haaland’s thirteenth goal in just nine matches since his summer move to City from Dortmund.
“People who know me probably know the impact of Johan Cruyff in my life as a person, mentor and manager,” said Guardiola, the City coach who played under Cruyff at Barcelona.
“Years ago, at Camp Nou, he scored a great goal against Atlético Madrid. It was exactly the same today with Haaland and the moment he scored the goal, I thought, ‘Johan Cruyff’. It was just the same.
“It was really good and Joao’s pass was exceptional.”
People may be talking about I don’t touch the ball enough, but I don’t care. I know what I’m going to do, what I have to do, and that’s exactly what I’m going to keep doing… My dream is to touch the ball five times and score five goals.
If that comparison wasn’t favorable enough, Guardiola also felt Haaland had reminded him of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He said: “I remember my good friend Ibrahimovic having this ability to put his leg up on the roof and Erling is just like that in that.
“I think that’s his nature. He’s flexible, flexible and has the ability to connect and put the ball into the net.”
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Haaland: They didn’t stop me, I scored!
Erling Haaland on BT Sport:
“We showed where we are at the end. I’m proud of the 20th, 25th, 30th minutes. Two great goals.”
When the journalist asked him if his former club knew how to stop him, Haaland said: “They didn’t stop me, I scored! But yes, they played well, and I was pretty sure I would watch the whole match because they know me well.”
Too close to a Bellingham night
It was very close to Bellingham night. The 19-year-old England international showed his form while the Premier League champions struggled to show anything like their best form. Jack Grealish had his shots blocked. Kevin De Bruyne saw crosses being cleared. The union waited patiently.
But when the chances came in the second half, they came for Dortmund. Marco Reus came close to one counterattack and then turned to the supplier shortly after, Bellingham nodded behind Ederson to trigger wild scenes at the raucous end away.
Pep Guardiola made four changes to the team that crushed Sevilla in this competition last week with Nathan Ake, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez in attendance. Ruben Dias, Sergio Gomez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden were the four who left the bench. .
The match opened as soon as Guardiola sent in his substitutes – Phil Foden, Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva were all served up – and suddenly Haaland entered the match. However, Guardiola will be very disappointed by the lack of energy before that.
Retreating in front of their fans has become an unwelcome habit for City, having rid themselves of the difficulty here against Aston Villa on the final day of last season and again recently against Crystal Palace.
One day it will cost them. With Haaland, that day may not be soon.
Analysis: Haaland does things that others cannot do
Adam Batty from Sky Sports:
Haaland’s ending was reminiscent of Cruyff’s famous goal for Barcelona against Atlético Madrid in 1973 – which he described as the impossible goal as he rose to shoot the ball at the far post. More recent audiences may be reminded of Ibrahimovic.
What is certain is that there are very few players in the history of the game capable of the moments this youngster continues to produce. Borussia Dortmund benefited from this exceptional talent. On this night they were victims of her.
Haaland has now scored 13 goals in his last eight games for Manchester City. It’s a wondrous comeback, however, and his brilliance questions whether such high production can ever be sustainable. Maybe not quite like that, but City haven’t found it yet like they could.
This was an unconvincing performance by the team as he was starving for service the whole time. But when the ball reached him he looked amazingly sharp, out of trouble, and finding the holes for others. When City clicks, he can really have fun.
For now, that’s enough. Dortmund did well. The city struggled. However, as the fans turned away from the stadium, the stunning result was the latest on their minds. A Glimpse of Cruyff, Shadows of Zlatan. But only one from Erling Haaland.
Pep is not happy with the rhythm of City
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola:
“We had a lot of problems getting our rhythm,” Guardiola said.
“We were very passive in our transfers. We struggled. We played in the wrong position. When we realized we were 1-0 down and changed the dynamic on the field. [by making three substitutions]He gave us another beat. this is us.
“After Seville, people said it’s all over, it’s done. I tried to tell them it’s not over. The Champions League does not wait. The Champions League does not forgive you.”
Haaland’s end made headlines but the City boss started the press conference by calling to discuss the Stones as well as Haaland. This goal was the game-changing moment. “In the first half, John Stones didn’t try that shot, he tried the extra pass,” he added.
“We can’t play the 60 to 65 minutes we played. We are a different team.”
Analysis: Bellingham is a combination of Lampard and Gerrard
Louis Jones from Sky Sports:
Mature beyond his years, the clamor for a more important role for Bellingham in the England squad appears to be rising as Qatar approaches. The debate now is not about whether or not he is on board, and whether you can leave him out of England’s first game on November 21 against Iran. Southgate had already seen his talents up close when he took on a strong midfield role supporting the attackers.
He was man of the match after a stellar performance when he played the full friendlies with Ivory Coast earlier this year before training in midfield after replacing Calvin Phillips – who played just four minutes off the bench in this confrontation – against Germany in the Nations League. . the summer.
Lack of experience is not a valid argument anymore. Bellingham already has a full championship season and nearly three Bundesliga campaigns under his belt, not to mention 18 Champions League appearances. Once again, he was Dortmund’s most powerful and creative player against City’s midfield. Bellingham had already equalized with Rodri in a reservation after he overtook him in the midfield in 53 minutes before he showed his eye on the goal as he improved with every minute he played. His reading of the situation to overcome the City defenders in front of Marco Reus’ cross was similar to Frank Lampard. The way he moves the ball is very similar to Steven Gerrard.
Gone are the days of arguing over whether Lampard and Gerrard can play together. But perhaps England has found someone who combines the skills of the two.
Can you press it somewhere? Heck, England should build a midfield around it.
Man City win stats
- Manchester City have not lost in their last 21 home matches in the Champions League, winning 19 matches and drawing twice. This is the longest unbeaten run by an English team in the competition since Chelsea also scored 21 runs between September 2006 and December 2009.
- Pep Guardiola took charge of his 150th Champions League game, marking his 95th win. Only two coaches have won more matches in the competition’s history – Sir Alex Ferguson (102) and Carlo Ancelotti (100).
- Two goals for Manchester City came in this match thanks to their first two shots on goal, in the 80th and 84th minutes.
- John Stones scored 18 goals for club and country, but this was his first from outside the penalty area.
- Jude Bellingham scored his fourth UEFA Champions League goal, the biggest ever for an English teenager in the competition. This was also his 18th appearance in the competition, also a new record for an English under-20 player.
- At 22 years and 55 days, Erling Haaland is the youngest player in Champions League history to score in the net with the same team in the competition.
It’s a quick turnaround for Manchester City as they make an early start on Saturday as they make the trip to face Wolverhampton at Molineux. They returned after the international break with the derby against Manchester United on 2 October.
The Borussia Dortmund derby is coming sooner than that. They host Schalke at Revierderby in Westfalenstadion on Saturday afternoon.