Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joked he was ‘so upset’ with Erling Haaland following Saturday’s 4-0 Premier League win over Southampton because the Norwegian only scored once.
Haaland has made a mockery of Premier League defences since arriving in England in the summer, scoring 15 times in just nine games so far – including three hat-tricks – and only drawing a blank once. In all competitions, it is a round 20 goals in 13 matches.
City were already 3-0 up before Haaland got in on the act.
“I’m so upset with him he didn’t score three goals, that’s why the petition is to sack him for the Premier League,” Guardiola quipped after the final whistle.
Haaland even missed a great chance in the first half, reminding fans that he is human.
“It happens,” Guardiola reflected. “The expectation is so high people expect he’ll score three or four goals every game. In the end he was there to score it. He helped to keep the ball, fight. Erling played really good today too.”
The City boss was particularly pleased at how Haaland has helped Kevin De Bruyne this season, creating space and opportunities for the Belgian to play into.
“Of course for a player like Kevin, having this threat, this guy who likes to run in behind with this pace, it helps him a lot,” Guardiola said.
“Kevin again created three or four chances, but he can play better. Today was not the best Kevin that we know, because he can put his mate in front of the keeper most of the time – but having players like Erling, Julian [Alvarez] or Phil, making movements in behind, it is so important to him.”
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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration
Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.
The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.
Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:
“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”
Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.
“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”
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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player
Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.
Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.
On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.
It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.
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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.
Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.
He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.
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