Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is causing a “problem” for him because his form this season has been so good that he is expected to score a hat-trick in every game.
Haaland scored eight goals in five days for Manchester City, who thrashed Burnley 6-0 in the FA Cup on Saturday, after scoring five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday.
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The Norwegian striker has scored 42 goals this season, including six hat-tricks, and Guardiola says the high standards lead to even higher expectations.
“This guy will have a problem in the future, people expect him to score three or four goals in every game and that’s not going to happen,” Guardiola said. “People have to say a little bit, I know he doesn’t care, he’s very positive in life, he’s optimistic, he never complains, he always looks after himself, no matter how well we play, he scores goals.
“I don’t know the target numbers. This is how we play, Erling scores.”
City reached their second international break in the Premier League, the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
Guardiola’s side are still in with a chance of winning the treble, which was last achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in 1999, and the City boss admitted his players were in good form ahead of the crucial stage of the season.
“We are in good times, of course,” added Guardiola. “After Leipzig, Palace, we always suffer, we score a lot of goals, we concede few, few chances, we defend well, a threat like never before.
“I never felt that we could score in every corner, that we could take the free kicks that we have. I think Arsenal will lose a few points, we have to win almost every game. It is a great honor to play the semi-final again at Bayern and Wembley. We are alive. in three competitions.
“I had a feeling the players knew we couldn’t lose or it was all over, and that shows the best of us, and that’s true.”