Manchester City managed Pep Guardiola has again lavished praise on Erling Haaland after continuing his remarkable feats with a five-goal haul in their 7-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday.
The Norwegian striker was in an utterly dominant mood, as City progressed into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the sixth straight season.
Haaland took his season tally to 39 goals, breaking City’s single-season record previously held by Tommy Johnson with 38 from the 1928-29 season.
The 22-year-old only played 63 minutes on Tuesday before being substituted, pulling clear atop the competition’s goal scorers list with 10.
“Five goals, what can I say?” Guardiola told reporters. “I said many times, he’s a joyful guy. His mood in the locker room is always happiness. He is a gift to all of us. He is a huge competitor, his mentality is there. He scored five goals which is not easy.
“Today he scored five goals and I think he made 30-35 ball contacts and this is what we are looking for. I had the feeling when you are involved in the game offensively, defensively, when the ball comes to score a goal, you are more clever, more precise, you are in the game.
“It’s difficult to score – he can do it though – when you don’t touch the ball for 40 or 50 minutes. Sometimes it’s his fault, sometimes he doesnt move. I said in Palace, you didnt play well today. But other days, it’s our fault.
“In Leipzig, we could not find him. We did not find him in the second half. Sooner or later we are talking about, we are working a little bit and everyone because we try to make the process sometimes quicker.
“I would say we have to be slower. But once we break the holding midfielder, we have to be quicker. Sometimes the people think that defensive line-up, we are going to play slowly, we are going to play comfortable but our mentality has always been so, so aggressive from the day one and sometimes we cannot do it because the opponents are there.”
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