Guardiola: City’s Haaland has hat-trick ‘problem’
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Erling Haaland is creating a “problem” for himself because his form this season has been so good that he’s expected to score hat tricks in every game.
Haaland made it eight goals in five days for Manchester City with three in the 6-0 win over Burnley in the FA Cup on Saturday, following on from scoring five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday.
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The Norwegian striker has now scored 42 goals this season, including six hat tricks, and Guardiola says the high standards will bring even higher expectations.
“This guy will have a problem in the future, people expect every game he scores three or four goals and this isn’t going to happen,” Guardiola said. “People have to say a little bit, I know he doesn’t care, he’s so positive in his life, he’s optimistic, he never complains, always looks at himself, as much as we play good he’s going to score.
“The target numbers I don’t know. We play like this, Erling will score goals.”
City head into the international break second in the Premier League, into the quarterfinals of the Champions League and into the semifinals of the FA Cup.
Guardiola’s team still has a chance of winning the treble last achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999, and the City boss admits his players have hit form ahead of a crucial period of the season.
“We’re in a good moment, definitely,” Guardiola said. “After Leipzig, Palace we always suffer, we score a lot of goals, we concede few, few chances, we defend well, a threat in the set pieces like never before.
“I never had this feeling that we can score every corner, free kick we have. I think Arsenal will drop few points, we have to win almost every game. It’s an honour to play Bayern and the semifinal in Wembley again. We are alive in three competitions.
“I had the feeling that the players know we cannot lose or it’s over, that brings out our best, that is the reality.”