erling haaland

‘We should avoid it’ – Guardiola reacts as Man City maintain title pressure with ‘uncomfortable’ win over Leicester

Manchester City maintained the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over a relegation-threatened Leicester. 

It was always expected to be one-way traffic as the title chasers took on the struggling Foxes, and Manchester City got off to a rapid start as they took the lead in just the fifth minute. Some penalty area head tennis following a corner saw the ball drop to John Stones, before the Barnsley Beckenbauer produced a stunning left-foot volley that even his most prolific of teammates would be proud of.


City were then awarded a penalty after Wilfred Ndidi was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area, leaving Erling Haaland to step up to smash home the resulting spot kick into the bottom corner.

Haaland bagged his second of the afternoon in the 25th minute, Kevin de Bruyne winning the ball in midfield before releasing the Norwegian through on goal who made no mistake with the finish for his 32nd Premier League goal of the season, and his 47th in all competitions.

With the second leg against Bayern Munich later this week, Pep Guardiola replaced both goalscorers at half-time, though it was still one-way traffic as City continued to dominate at a canter, with Riyad Mahrez forcing a flying save out of Daniel Iversen.

Leicester did, however, manage to pull a goal back with 15 minutes to play, former Man City forward Kelechi Iheanacho poking home from close range after Ederson had failed to keep hold of a Harry Souttar header from a corner.

That goal prompted a few nerves inside the Etihad and gave the Foxes a boost, and James Maddison squandered a big chance to make it 3-2 with five minutes still to play, while Iheanacho saw an effort come back off the post in stoppage time.

The result moves Man City to within three points of Arsenal at the top of the table ahead of the Gunners’ game against West Ham on Sunday, and speaking after the match, Pep Guardiola admitted it was an ‘uncomfortable’ end to the game.

“At the end [it was uncomfortable]. That normally happens when you make a lot of substitutions. We should avoid it,” he told Match of the Day.

“But sometimes it happens and it is important we started really well after the Champions League. We made subs to make players rest but we lost some control, though in general it was a deserved victory.

“We start the game to win the game. The game is never done until it’s done. But after 3-0, and especially with the control and Erling Haaland played all 90 minutes against Bayern Munich and it was so difficult, we have to think about injuries.

“We are lucky after the Bayern Munich game we play at home not away. You saw how focused we were.”

City have a 3-0 lead over Bayern Munich ahead of this week’s second leg in Bavaria, but Guardiola insisted that the tie is not yet over: “Absolutely, we know that [it’s never over until it’s over].

“We have to try our game and think we will win the game. We have to defend otherwise they have the rhythm. It’s a real tough opponent. We go there to achieve something unique, to reach a semi-final.

“We have to play with the right mentality and be stable in the bad moments and go for it.”

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