Ghana's No. 1

Pep Guardiola compares Erling Haaland to Lionel Messi after Man City hat-trick vs Manchester United

Published on: 03 October 2022

On Sunday Erling Haaland again stole the headlines in a Manchester City win, his three goals and two assists helping City to a thumping 6-3 win against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland was unplayable, as he has been for much of the season. Having now scored 14 goals in his first eight Premier League outings and becoming the first player in the competition's history to score a hat-trick in three consecutive home games, it's inevitable that comparisons are going to be made to another goal-scoring machine who played under Pep Guardiola.

That's exactly what happened after the full-time whistle, when Guardiola was undertaking his media duties. Haaland has now scored against all but one of the opponents City have faced in the league this season - he still managed to provide an assist in the 4-0 defeat of Bournemouth - and has already silenced the doubters who suggested he might not find goals easy to come by in the Premier League.

If he carries on scoring at his current rate then he will score over 60 goals this season - he'll likely slow down at some point, but at the very least the Premier League single-season goal record of 32, set by Mohamed Salah, seems beatable.

When speaking to beIN SPORTS, Pep was asked whether he expects Haaland to score in every game, as he did when he was coaching Lionel Messi at Barcelona. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner scored 474 goals in 520 LaLiga for Barcelona, including a 50-goal haul in 2011/12. So far in his senior career, Haaland has scored 107 goals in 146 league appearances.

"Yeah, but they are different," Guardiola said. "Erling maybe needs all his mates [teammates] to do it, and when he arrives there [the penalty area]... unbelievable. Messi had the ability for himself to do it [all]."

Guardiola is of course right to point out that Messi was the more complete all-round player when he was at his peak - on many occasions he created goals from nothing, whereas Haaland does need good service in order to score.

That said, Haaland's contributions to City's all-round attacking play have been impressive; he now has three assists this campaign.


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