Erling Haaland’s decision criticized by Man City fans for worrying Pep Gu…
Manchester City fans criticized Pep Guardiola’s decision to substitute Erling Haaland in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. Guardiola took Haaland off at half time at Signal Iduna Park before Riyad Mahez missed the penalty spot in the deadlock.
City confirmed top spot in Group G with the result, with Borussia Dortmund runners-up. However, Guardiola’s side faltered on the night, taking just three shots on goal despite having 73 per cent of the ball.
Haaland had a quiet night at his former club, but his early retirement shocked the Manchester City fans. And many disgruntled fans took to social media after Bernardo Silva replaced the prolific Norwegian striker after the break.
One wrote: “Haaland out? What the hell is Pep?”
Another ranted: “Pep Guardiola substituting for Haaland at half time is ridiculous… 0-0 in a Champions League match, and you bring out your star who is on a historic scoring streak?”
A third asked: “Haaland out? Did Pep hit his head on the way to the locker room at halftime?”
“There’s no way Pep would have hooked Haaland in HT if he’s not injured,” one more fan speculated.
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Well, it turns out Haaland wasn’t 100 per cent ready for his return to Dortmund, and Guardiola was simply booking him for this weekend’s Premier League clash against Leicester City. After full time, the Catalan coach confirmed that Haaland was suffering from a bit of a ‘fever’ and a ‘knock on the feet’ in preparation.
The fury of the City fans intensified when Mahrez missed his chance to shoot from the penalty spot after being brought down by a clumsy tackle from Emre Can. The Algerian’s blunder was City’s 25th penalty since Guardiola became manager, and Guardiola expressed his frustration. “We’ll see [if we change penalty taker]. We’ll see what happens,” she added.
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“Of course it’s a problem. Since I’ve been here, we’ve missed 24, 25 penalties, most of them in the Champions League. So, it’s too much. I always admire the courage and responsibility to do it, but of course we missed a lot. penalties. It’s a problem; we failed in Copenhagen, here too. So, we have to improve. The smallest margin is the difference in this competition.”
Haaland hopes to be in peak condition in time to face Leicester in the week amid their dominant start to the Premier League. And after Guardiola mentioned the small margins that make a difference in the Champions League, Haaland’s presence could be exactly that for the Blues this season.
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