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Pep Guardiola reveals why he denied Erling Haaland double hat-trick chance vs RB Leipzig

Pep Guardiola reveals why he denied Erling Haaland double hat-trick chance vs RB Leipzig

When Pep Guardiola substituted Erling Haaland after the striker scored five goals in Manchester City’s massive victory over RB Leipzig, he claimed that he had not considered the possibility of Haaland scoring a double hat-trick.

Manchester City were dominant in their 7-0 win in the second leg, which secured their place in the quarter-finals following a tense first leg. Haaland scored a hat-trick in the first half and followed it up with two more goals in the second half, becoming only the third player to score five goals in a single Champions League game.

This brings his total number of Champions League goals to 33, with Haaland reaching the milestone of 30 goals in the shortest amount of time in history and as the youngest player to achieve this feat.

In addition to his impressive performance in the Champions League game, Erling Haaland also set a new record for Manchester City by scoring 39 goals in a single season, surpassing the previous record set by Tommy Johnson in the 1928/29 season, which stood for 94 years.

Haaland reportedly told Pep Guardiola that he aimed to score a double hat-trick after he scored five goals, but Guardiola jokingly said he substituted the striker for his own benefit.

“If he achieves this milestone at 22, 23, it will be boring his life,” Guardiola joked.

“He wouldn’t have a target to reach in the future. Here and everywhere. That’s why I make a substitution. I didn’t know about Messi with Leverkusen (when he scored five against them in 2012), but I make a substitution because normally when the game is over we want them to play.

“He scored five goals. The problem is every time we don’t score two or three he will be criticised. This is the reality.”

In addition to recognizing Haaland’s impressive scoring feat, Guardiola also commended the striker’s all-around performance.

Guardiola noted that Haaland’s contributions went beyond his five goals and were instrumental in helping Manchester City adopt a more attacking approach despite playing with a supposedly defensive formation.

Guardiola’s praise suggests that he was impressed by Haaland’s overall impact on the game and how he contributed to the team’s success in multiple ways.

“Most of the time, when he scores hat-tricks after 60-65 minutes I make a substitution,” Guardiola said. “Today he scored five but touched 30-35 ball contacts. This is what we’re looking for. When you’re involved in a game defensively, the ball comes to score goals you’re more clever, more precise. Gundogan scores goals, he can do it. Sometimes it’s his fault, sometimes he doesn’t move.

“For example at Crystal Palace he didn’t move, I said ‘you didn’t play good today’. Other days it is our fault, like in Leipzig we didn’t find him. Sooner or later we’re working a bit, everyone we try to make the process quicker.

“Once we break the holding midfielder we have to be quicker. People think it depends on the line-up we’ll play slowly, comfortable. The mentality is always been so so aggressive. Sometimes we cannot do it because the opponent is there.”

Pep Guardiola reveals why he denied Erling Haaland double hat-trick chance vs RB Leipzig

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