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Pep Guardiola backs Erling Haaland to bounce back after failing to find the net in City’s 4-0 win

Erling Haaland has just EIGHT touches in Man City’s 4-0 rout of Bournemouth as he endures a frustrating home debut… but Pep Guardiola defends his striker and claims he had ‘the most difficult job in the world against’ the Cherries

  • Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland after he drew a blank on Saturday
  • Goals from Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden and a Lerma OG saw City win 4-0 
  • Haaland was a peripheral figure in the comfortable win over Bournemouth 

Pep Guardiola has praised Erling Haaland‘s performance in Manchester City‘s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, despite the Norwegian having only eight touches in the game and failing to get on the scoresheet. 

The Premier League champions made it two wins from two after last weekend’s opening day win at West Ham, with goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jefferson Lerma own goal.  

Yet Haaland only touched the ball eight times during the match against Bournemouth – just once more than Romelu Lukaku’s record low of seven touches in a Premier League game for Chelsea against Crystal Palace last season. 

Erling Haaland failed to get on the scoresheet in City's 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday

Erling Haaland failed to get on the scoresheet in City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday

In fact, Haaland completed just two passes in the entire game – the lowest total for a City player under Guardiola.

It saw the striker fail to add to the two goals he scored last week in the win at the London Stadium on Sunday. 

However, the City boss has leapt to the defence of his summer signing by suggesting he did the best he could against the Cherries’ high line.

Haaland only touched the ball just eight times during the game against the Cherries back line

Haaland only touched the ball just eight times during the game against the Cherries back line

Pep Guardiola has backed his star striker to cope with Premier League defences this season

Pep Guardiola has backed his star striker to cope with Premier League defences this season 

‘The most difficult job in the world is when you are a striker against a (defence) with three central midfielders, three centre-backs and you are in the middle,’ Guardiola said following the victory. 

‘We will find many of these situations but it’s a question of time. With the quality of player we have behind him (Haaland), we will find him.’ 

Haaland may not have added to his two goals against the Hammers, but he did set-up City’s first for Gundogan. He showed some frustration at Phil Foden during the game when the England man opted to go for goal rather than tee-up his team-mate. 

Phil Foden was one of the players on target as City made it two wins from two this season

Phil Foden was one of the players on target as City made it two wins from two this season

It is not the first time Haaland has faced questions on his possible role in the City team. Doubts were raised over the City No 9 after his display in the Community Shield as Guardiola’s men were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool. 

But the £51million signing quickly hit back with a brace on his Premier League debut and his manager believes he will live up to his billing.

Up next for City is a trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle next weekend as the champions look to continue their perfect start to the season.  

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