LAGOS, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Manager Pep Guardiola has given an explanation for why Erling Haaland had no effect on Manchester City’s Champions League encounter against Real Madrid.
Vinicius Jr. and Kevin De Bruyne each scored fantastic goals for their respective teams on Tuesday night at the Santiago Bernabeu, resulting in a draw in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal between the two European powerhouses.
Haaland tried Thibaut Courtois early in the match, but he struggled to have an impact since Antonio Rudiger was closely guarding him.
He was only able to touch the ball 21 times, which is fewer than both goalkeepers Courtois and Ederson.
The offensive midfielders [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos, and [Federico] Valverde dominated the spaces and pockets between the central defenders and full-backs, which was “not easy” for the Norwegian.
According to Guardiola, who acknowledged as much. Erling found it challenging with a dual central defense nearby. He had his chances and moved smartly.
Given the circumstances, Guardiola views the second leg as a “play-off,” calling it “a tight, tight game” that will be played at the Etihad Stadium in front of their own supporters.Play is quite tight.
In the semi-final at the Bernabeu, we had both successful and challenging periods due to their superior ball-handling abilities.
He added: “They are so demanding, with the experience and quality. We are travelling to Manchester and we will see what we can do better. When you play this kind of game it is like a play-off, so hopefully we can learn, defend better and attack better.”
Prior to hosting Real Madrid on 17 May for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal, Manchester City must first go to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.