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Erling Haaland ‘born to score goals’, says Pep Guardiola after City win | premier league

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland was born to score after the new Manchester City striker helped the champions open their Premier League title defense with a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham.

Haaland scored twice as City ran out winners at the London Stadium. The Norwegian said it was ‘a bit crap’ to miss a hat-trick, but Guardiola couldn’t have been happier with the former Borussia Dortmund man’s performance.

“He’s been here for five years,” said the City manager. “I hope he stays for this time and even more. We want all the new guys to be happy, to feel good in the city and with the team. And push him a bit more.

“He’s a guy with incredible talent, he scores great numbers but we would like to add something more to his game to be a better player. Not just a guy who scores goals, which is so important, but he That’s why we want to try to give him everything to be a better player, he was born to score goals.

Guardiola, who made no apologies for taking Haaland off in the second half, responded sarcastically to the 22-year-old’s criticism following City’s loss to Liverpool in the Community Shield. “A week ago he couldn’t adapt to the Premier League,” he said. “Now he is alongside the best, Titi [Thierry] Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo.

There was impressive conviction from Haaland when he won and sent the penalty for City’s first goal. “I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week, he was really calm and trained really well,” Guardiola said. “But the way he took the ball to take the penalty, I liked that. He is direct and if someone wants to take his ball, he will hit one of his friends in the face. I’m pretty sure.

Haaland vowed to keep improving and blamed himself for failing to convert an Ilkay Gündogan cross.

“It was a good start,” he said. “There is nothing to say other than that and it was 2-0. It was good to have a few minutes in the legs at the start of the season and we must continue.

“It’s about the connections we make every day in practice and training so that we get better and that will come. Also, it’s been almost 30 minutes since I scored the last goal, so I have to keep going.

David Moyes has praised Haaland’s display. “We all watched it from afar,” said the West Ham manager. “He’s someone who looks like an exceptional player. He made the same kind of runs as against Liverpool.

Moyes admitted his side were outclassed by City. “They were so good. I felt that tactically they completely outdid us today. They played differently than at the end of last season with both full-backs in midfield as midfielders.

theguardian Gt

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