Manchester Metropolis boss Pep Guardiola mentioned Erling Haaland is at the usual of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on the subject of discovering the online after scoring twice on his return from harm in a 4-1 win at Southampton on Saturday. Victory took Metropolis to inside 5 factors of Arsenal on the prime of the Premier League. Haaland has now scored 44 instances in his debut season with the English champions, together with 30 in 27 Premier League appearances. The Norwegian’s second purpose was particular as the enormous striker acrobatically volleyed house Jack Grealish’s cross with an overhead kick.
“The second purpose was superb. It’s not simple to select the ball up within the sky and put it on the grass,” mentioned Guardiola, who coached Messi throughout 4 years as Barcelona coach.
“We’d like him. The primary half was not our greatest stage however he modified the sport.
“As a prime scorer we lived two unimaginable many years with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi however he’s on that stage. He scores numerous targets. I’m very proud of 65 minutes after harm and he helped us once more.”
Guardiola was true to his phrase that he was not excited about Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg in opposition to Bayern Munich as Haaland’s return from a groin harm was the one change from the aspect that thrashed Liverpool 4-1 final weekend.
However the guests didn’t hit the identical heights for the primary 45 minutes and will have been punished in opposition to a aspect with extra firepower than the Saints.
Southampton stay rooted to the foot of the desk and 4 factors adrift of security.
Haaland opened the floodgates simply earlier than half-time when he stooped to satisfy Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.
Metropolis went via the gears after the break as an eighth consecutive win in all competitions saved Guardiola’s males within the hunt for a treble of trophies.
Grealish is having fun with his finest type since a £100 million ($124 million) transfer from Aston Villa in 2021 made him the Premier League’s most costly ever participant on the time.
He fired in on the second try after his first effort was saved by Gavin Bazunu.
Grealish turned creator for the third as his cross was completed in spectacular style by Haaland.
“You’ll by no means see me try this,” mentioned De Bruyne of Haaland’s second purpose. “You’d get me to Southampton hospital if I try this!”
That was the striker’s remaining contact as he then made approach for Julian Alvarez for the ultimate 20 minutes with one eye on Bayern’s go to in midweek.
Sekou Mara briefly gave the house help one thing to cheer when he steered house Moussa Djenepo’s cross.
However Metropolis restored their three-goal cushion simply three minutes later when De Bruyne was bundled over contained in the field.
The Belgian stood apart to permit Alvarez to fireside house his 14th purpose of the season regardless of largely enjoying second fiddle to Haaland.
Liverpool have tended to be Metropolis’s title rivals within the Guardiola period.
However they are going to be hoping for a favour from their previous foes on Sunday when Arsenal go to Anfield hoping for his or her first away league win in opposition to Liverpool in 11 years.
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