Erling Haaland goal for Manchester City was part Johan Cruyff, part Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Pep Guardiola – ESPN

Erling Haaland goal for Manchester City was part Johan Cruyff, part Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Pep Guardiola - ESPN

Pep Guardiola greeted Erling Haaland‘s winner against former club Borussia Dortmund as a cross between Johan Cruyff and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Norwegian striker earned Manchester City a 2-1 win against his former club with an acrobatic finish in the 84th minute — his 13th goal in just eight games since his summer move to the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola said the goal invoked memories of Cruyff and Ibrahimovic – who the City manager appeared to sarcastically refer to as a “dear friend” following a clash between the pair during their time together at Barcelona – and admitted it overcame a largely subpar performance. of his team.

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“Maybe the people who know me know the influence that Johan Cruyff had on my life as a person, a mentor and years ago he scored an incredible goal in Camp Nou for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid,” said Guardiola.

“The moment Erling scored, I thought it was quite, quite similar. I remember my dear friend Ibrahimovic, who has this ability to put his leg on the roof, and Erling is quite similar in that.

“I think it’s his nature, he’s elastic, he’s flexible and then has the ability to make contact and put the ball in the net. I think his mom and dad give him that flexibility.”

City did not register a shot on target in the first half and were late to a Jude Bellingham header shortly after half time.

John Stonesplaying at right-back, equalized with an improbable 20-yard rocket after 80 minutes and Guardiola suggested afterwards that he was not satisfied with large parts of his team’s performance.

“We weren’t at the right time,” added Guardiola. “John Stones’ goal. In the first half John Stones doesn’t shoot, but at that moment we were in the right rhythm.

“John was in the right rhythm and scores an exceptional goal. We can’t do the 60 or 65 minutes we play, we are a different team. It’s not about winning or losing, every day you have to perform well. It’s a good lesson. “

Goalscorer Bellingham, meanwhile, was one of Dortmund’s standout performers, with the 19-year-old midfielder branded an “exceptional player” by Guardiola after the game.

“I think we were brilliant for the majority of the game,” Bellingham said. “We gave them little to work with. Their really good players played well, but they didn’t necessarily kill us in dangerous areas.

“I think that’s where we had the advantage, and obviously big teams, you give them a yard and they can deliver like that, they can hurt you and that’s what they did tonight.”

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