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Other SportsManchester City: Guardiola warns critics Haaland will 'shut your mouth'

Manchester City: Guardiola warns critics Haaland will ‘shut your mouth’

Pep Guardiola took aim at Erling Haaland’s critics last night after the Manchester City striker scored the winner against Brentford to move the European champions within a point of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Haaland was not at his brilliant best during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea – a match in which City had 31 shots but only managed one goal – but snapped up a second-half opportunity against the Bees, capitalising on a slip by Kristoffer Ajer to score the only goal after 70 minutes.

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Guardiola seemed angered by the discussion around Haaland’s form afterwards, telling the media: “With top scorers or strikers who score a lot of goals, don’t criticise because he will shut your mouth, that’s for sure. Sooner or later, he is there.

“He was out with injury for two months and is not in his best shape and just had an incredibly tough week because he lost his grandmother. That is not easy for a human being.

“In this type of game like Brentford, you need Erling.”

City laboured at times against Thomas Frank’s well-organised Brentford, whose time-wasting visibly irritated Guardiola.

The former Barcelona boss added: “It was difficult and always will be against Thomas. We made a good first half, the second was not so good. We were patient and we didn’t concede much.

“If someone doubts Erling then he will do his job. You make a mistake. He’s an incredible player.”

Despite City’s win, Liverpool can establish a four-point advantage at the top when they take on Luton at Anfield this evening.

“[There are] still many games,” said Guardiola. “Of course, it’s better to win. We missed the opportunity against Chelsea. I’m so proud of the team. We are closer but we are in the real part of the season. Tough, tough games in this period. We are there.”

Brentford remain 14th, five points above the relegation zone.

“We were perfect, we were just unlucky,” Frank told Match of the Day.

“The players deserve so much praise for a top defensive performance. We only gave two chances away before the goal. We were very good defensively.

“I thought we really created some dangerous situations that lacked the final spark.

“We are back on track I would say [but] we can’t give Erling Haaland a chance like this. We kept him quiet besides that.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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