Everything was going great in Manchester until the 63rd minute. City won 6-0 at leipzig with five goals from Erling Haaland, the huge striker who paid tribute to the German team to get his team into the quarterfinals. In just 35 minutes (from 22 to 57) sealed a poker that placed him at the height of Messi. then appeared Pep Guardiola to dampen the euphoria and torpedo any possibility of historical record. The Catalan coach changed the Norwegian for Julian Alvarez.
Did Guardiola do well with his decision? Was it the right thing to do?to avoid any injury in a decided duel? Would he have dared to do the same with the Argentine star? Did he want to leave his author’s stamp? From Madrid did not miss the opportunity to criticize the technician, something that always gives them great pleasure. They consider that with his change he made sure that Haaland did not surpass Messi and, incidentally, left signs of his authority and control of the squad.
No double hat trick
The cover of ‘Marca’ was forceful. “And to the fifth, Pep changed him”, headline the sports newspaper at full speed, just the day the Madrid receives at the Bernabéu Liverpool. From other sectors, the coach was accused of not treating his player as a “Superstar”. The final hug between the striker and the coach was clarifying, but it is evident that the player would have preferred to continue on the field. “I told Guardiola that I would love to score a double hat trickbut what can I do?” commented the Norwegian.
“I know that Leo scored five goals, I remember perfectly. But it is incredible that Haaland has done it in 60 minutes, and it is not the case of Leo. But Erling is very very young and this has to be a extra reason to beat Leo’s record”, said the former Barça coach, who preferred to avoid any physical mishap at a key moment of the season.
“The problem with this boy is that when he doesn’t score two or three goals, they will criticize him. That’s how it will be for the rest of his career, this is the reality. He has done it so many times… It’s a kid’s joy and he is always happy in the locker room, helping and giving his all for others. He is a great competitor, with a great mentality. He has scored five goals and it’s not easy at all”, concluded the Catalan.