Pep Guardiola compares Erling Haaland to Lionel Messi after two goal heroics in West Ham win

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland for reacting angrily to being substituted in Manchester City’s win over West Ham on Sunday.

The Norwegian striker scored a brace as City won West Ham 2-0 in their opening EPL game of the season. 

City were dominant in the game and it was thought that Haaland would play the full 90 minutes to allow him to get his hat-trick. However, he was substituted in the second half and was visibly upset at being substituted.

However, his reaction wasn’t a surprise to his manager, who insisted that a goalscorer is never satisfied when he could have scored more for his team.

Speaking with the press after the game about Haaland’s reaction, Guardiola said;

“I like it.

“I was fortunate as a manager to be with Messi, and if he scored two, he wanted three. If he scored three, he wanted four. 

“If he got four, he wanted five. The top goalscorers, the strikers, they are never satisfied. They are always starving.”

When Haaland was fouled for City’s penalty, he immediately grabbed the ball to take it himself. “I think if someone were to take this ball, he would have punched his teammates in the face,” Guardiola added. 

“I’m pretty sure of that, and that is a good sign.”

Guardiola also mocked those who criticised Haaland after his Community Shield performance against Liverpool last week. 

“One week ago he would not adapt to the Premier League and now he’s the best – alongside Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said. 

“He is a guy with incredible talent—a scorer of goals. No 9 is numbers, but we would like to add something more to his game to be a better player. Not just a guy who scores goals.”