regular-article-logo Saturday, 03 June 2023

Pep Guardiola’s key: A ‘more active Haaland’

Guardiola says there is room for improvement in Erling Haaland’s allround game even though Norwegian has scored 34 goals this season

Reuters, AP/PTI Manchester Published 14.03.23, 06:07 AM
Pep Guardiola.

Pep Guardiola. File picture

Pep Guardiola has won nine major trophies at Manchester City but the Spaniard said his managerial era at the Premier League club will be defined by whether he delivers their first Champions League title.

Guardiola has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups at City but European success has eluded the manager who won the trophy twice as Barcelona manager, with the English club’s best finish being runners-up in 2021.


When asked if winning the trophy with City would define his success in the eyes of the public, Guardiola told reporters: “Yes. That doesn’t mean I agree with that but, absolutely, we’ll be judged for that competition.

“My first Champions League game here (in 2016), they asked, ‘Are you here to win the Champions League?’ If I was manager for Real Madrid I could understand, but I accept it. As much as we go through, it’s not going to change that.”

City host RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday after the first game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Guardiola also said there was room for improvement in striker Erling Haaland’s allround game even though the Norwegian has scored 34 goals this season.

“I don’t like one player just to score goals in the box. It’s important but away from the opponents’ box where he cannot score a goal, we need him to be more active. He has to be involved in what we’re doing. He has improved, he can be better,” Guardiola said on Monday.

Haaland has netted six times against Leipzig in his career.

Pressure on Inzaghi

After another disappointing loss in Serie A, Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi is under increasing pressure to deliver in the Champions League as his team visits Porto in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

Inter is carrying a slender 1-0 advantage from the first leg and Inzhagi’s long-term future at the club could depend how the team performs this week after falling out of contention for the Serie A title.

Inzhagi will also have a tough decision to make on whether to start RomeluLukaku — who scored the late winner in the first leg — or Edin Dzeko up front alongsideLautaro Martinez against the Portuguese team.

Today’s matches

⚫ FC Porto vs Inter Milan

⚫ Man City vs RB Leipzig Live on Star Sports Network from 1.30am IST on Wednesday

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