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HomeFootballGuardiola on Haaland's incredible miss: "It's about the reaction"

Guardiola on Haaland’s incredible miss: “It’s about the reaction”

Manchester City set the scene perfectly for the top-of-the-table clash against Liverpool with a comeback win in the city derby against United. After the 3-1 win, a memorable miss from Erling Haaland was one of the big talking points

It was perhaps the scene of the Manchester derby, although it was not one of the four goals. In the 45th minute, the outstanding Phil Foden – with the score at 0-1 – crossed with his head after a perfectly executed attack in the five-yard box – but Erling Haaland managed the feat of lifting the ball over the empty goal with his foot from around two meters. Had the Norwegian simply taken his head, ManCity would probably have equalized before the break.

Coach Pep Guardiola’s reaction on the touchline said it all. The Catalan was ready to cheer, but then buried his head in his arms. How could that not be a goal? “He was disappointed, I was disappointed,” Guardiola explained after the final whistle about the images following the missed high-caliber goal: “I want him to score four or five goals every game, like against Luton.”

Guardiola understandably did not want to overrate the scene. “It’s about the reaction. He is sad for 10 seconds, and he can miss five more chances, and he is sad for 10 seconds as well, but after that he erases it and moves on to the next one,” said the 53-year-old: “The great, great players I have met, and I have been lucky enough to experience many of them as a player and especially as a coach, have this incredible ability to forget in an instant.”

Guardiola also observes this mental strength in other sports. “Tennis players, golfers, basketball players, when they have a miss, and everyone has one, they say ‘ok’, smile, are positive and keep trying. That’s what characterizes the great players, and he did it,” said the City coach, who was delighted with the Norwegian, who capitalized on a serious individual error in stoppage time to make the final score 3:1.

28 scoring points from Foden

Guardiola had high praise for Foden, who “was always a talented player, but now he is more mature and understands the game better, especially defensively”. In league comparisons, Guardiola does not currently see a professional who can surpass Foden. “What can I say? He’s the best player in the Premier League at the moment because he can do so many things. Unbelievable,” Guardiola praised his attacking player.

Foden has already played 40 competitive games this season, scoring 18 goals and providing ten assists. “He can play in the middle and on the right, create moments and move inside, play on the left and score goals from the left,” said Guardiola, who particularly likes the 23-year-old’s flexibility.

In combination, Foden and Haaland should first give Copenhagen a run for their money in the Champions League on Wednesday (9 p.m.) and then top-of-the-table Liverpool on Sunday.



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