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Pep Guardiola lauds Haaland’s ‘unbelievable’ goalscoring record

Pep Guardiola praised Erling Haaland’s exceptional goal-scoring prowess after Manchester City’s top scorer netted five goals in the FA Cup holders’ fifth-round demolition of Luton.

The 23-year-old elevated his season’s tally in all competitions to 27 as he collaborated with the outstanding Kevin De Bruyne to deliver a masterclass in goal-scoring during the 6-2 victory at Kenilworth Road.

This performance came less than four weeks after his return to the side following nearly two months out with a foot injury and brought his total since joining City in the summer of 2022 to 79 goals in 83 appearances.

Despite appearing noticeably out of form in recent games, particularly in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium where he missed several chances, Haaland’s return to form was devastating, especially for a player who scored a record 36 times in the Premier League last season.

“How many chances did he have against Chelsea?” said Guardiola. “A lot. He maybe had less against Bournemouth (a 1-0 away win), one or two. But it’s his talent. We know always he is there, he always has the chances.

“Always we work as a team, providing the chances. Sometimes you score goals, sometimes not. Quite often he scores. But it’s not a big issue because he’s a special talent.

“The number he has at his age in all competitions, honestly it’s unbelievable. At the end, we know it. He’s our top goalscorer, happy that he’s got the confidence, because the guys who are the top scorers need goals, and he did it (against Luton).”

Guardiola praises Haaland and looks forward to the United game

Haaland secured a first-half hat-trick against Luton, propelling his team comfortably into the quarter-finals. Each of his goals was assisted by De Bruyne, who himself returned from a lengthy injury lay-off only in January.

In the second half, the duo combined again for Haaland’s fourth goal, following a brief threat of a fightback from Rob Edwards’ side, who managed to score twice through Jordan Clark.

Bernardo Silva then provided the assist for the Norwegian’s fifth goal, before Mateo Kovacic sealed the victory with a fine finish, making it six goals as the champions displayed an irresistible performance ahead of Sunday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad.

“The United game will be completely different,” said Guardiola. “They defend differently. They have experienced players.

“We’ll have two days off, so people don’t see each other. Have to refresh out minds and our legs and have two days to prepare our game.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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