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Pep Guardiola reveals Erling Haaland quality that impressed him more than his hat trick against Palace

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Pep Guardiola reveals Erling Haaland quality that impressed him more than his hat trick against Palace

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland’s hat-trick in Manchester City’s comeback win over Crystal Palace came as no surprise, and the striker earned his goals by staying focused during a quiet first half.

After trailing 2-0 at halftime, Manchester City came out firing in the second half, with Bernardo Silva sparking a comeback that was capped off by Haaland’s three goals.

The striker now has six goals and one assist in four Premier League appearances, with his third goal especially impressive as he held off two defenders and fired in to send the Etihad Stadium into raptures.

Guardiola praised Haaland after the game, saying his dependability in front of goal means City will always have a chance, even if they fall behind.

“I’d say thanks to me for my brilliant ideas but I would say Erling has done this since he was born,” Guardiola said of Haaland’s hat-trick.

“Always has done this in his life, at Salzburg, BVB (Borussia Dortmund), always scored goals. These teams who defend deep he has an incredible sense of goal. The three goals, especially the last one, the first one as well, good goals.

“I will tell you the numbers, we score a lot of goals in previous seasons. It was different the quality of the players we have, but we score lots of goals. The problems we have now is we concede a lot, before was not the case. We have a lot of time. Right now we struggle to do the uncomfortable things we have to do but still don’t do it. Important is learn the lesson, win the game.”

Guardiola praised Haaland’s body language during the game, especially when City was trailing, and explained how the striker is settling into life at City.

“He came for that [scoring important goals], what he has done all his life, the numbers of this guy is beyond. The most important is he settled perfectly, an incredibly humble guy. He chats more with guys from the academy players and it means a lot.

“What I like of Erling is we are still knowing each other. Still need more time. I saw his body language at 0-2 down how he encouraged his mates. I had the feeling maybe he was not involved in the game but always he was there.

“He didn’t run from the game, always is there. As a striker is incredible, he didn’t touch the ball but had a feeling the ball was there and always involved. Football is here [head]. The quality of the first goal the cross is good, John Stones should run but he’s there. tell me why, the sense of the strikers is there. The third, the same pass from Gundogan at West Ham, we spoke to put the ball to his feet of the central defenders.

“It was quite similar to West Ham how he use his body. He didn’t shoot, he put it soft where the keeper cannot save. Look at the numbers, strikers is numbers, you see how many games in his career how many goals is astonishing.”

Pep Guardiola reveals Erling Haaland quality that impressed him more than his hat trick against Palace

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