Pep Guardiola jokes that he deliberately prevented Erling Haaland from scoring a double hat trick as Manchester City defeated Leipzig 7-0

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has made the joking claim that he deliberately denied Erling Haaland the opportunity for a double hat trick during the team’s 7-0 victory over RB Leipzig.

On March 14, in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchups at the Etihad, the Citizens dominated the German team. After the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw, City scored seven goals in a row to win the tie 8-1 overall.

Amazingly, 22-year-old Haaland scored five goals on the night. After a disputed penalty decision, he scored from the spot in the 22nd minute. After scoring two more goals in the first half, the Norwegian then scored twice in the first 12 minutes of the second half.

In the 63rd minute, Guardiola substituted Julian Alvarez for the striker. According to the Daily Mail, Guardiola joked after the game about the substitution, saying:

“His life will be boring if he achieves this milestone at 22 or 23. Because he now has a target, I make the substitution.”

The Manchester City manager commented on Haaland’s performance that night, saying:

“This is what we are looking for, he scored five goals today and I think he had 30-35 touches. When it comes time to score a goal, you are more precise when you are involved in the game. When you don’t touch the ball for forty minutes, it’s hard to score.”

Added he:

“Occasionally, it is his fault. Sometimes it’s our fault that he doesn’t move; when we played Crystal Palace, I told him, “You didn’t play well today.” We didn’t find him in the second half away from Leipzig. However, we are working to expedite the procedure.

Haaland became the third player since Luis Adriano and Lionel Messi to score five goals in a Champions League match. He also became the fastest player in the competition to score 30 goals, scoring them in 25 games. This season, the Norwegian striker has scored 39 goals and contributed five assists in 36 games for Manchester City across all competitions.

Who are Manchester City’s next opponents?

In the FA Cup quarterfinals on March 18, Pep Guardiola’s team will play Burnley, led by Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany. They will play rivals, Liverpool, on April 1 in the Premier League, followed by a home game against Southampton on April 9.

In the race for the league title, Manchester City is currently five points behind league leaders Arsenal. After this weekend, when Arsenal plays host to Crystal Palace and City play in the FA Cup, they could be eight points behind.

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