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Erling Haaland will “shut your mouth” but is “not in his best shape”, admits Pep Guardiola



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Pep Guardiola has issued a further strong defence of his superstar striker Erling Haaland following his match-winning goal against Brentford on Tuesday evening.

The 23-year-old scored a 71st minute effort to claim all three points for Manchester City, and ensure that the Premier League champions would immediately bounce back from their disappointing 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Saturday evening.

It was a far from straightforward evening against Brentford however, with the visitors frustrating Pep Guardiola’s side throughout the contest defensively, and causing problems in transitions and counter-attacks.

However, despite his blank against Mauricio Pochettino’s side at the weekend and having missed several golden opportunities in front of goal, Pep Guardiola’s star forward proved all of his doubter wrong, as the City manager issued a further defence of the Norwegian.

“When I was young, a friend of mine told me top scorers, strikers that score a lot of goals, don’t criticise him, because he will shut your mouth, that’s for sure,” Guardiola told the media after the clash at the Etihad. “Sooner or later, always he’s there.”

The Manchester City boss was also keen to point towards an incredibly tough week for Haaland on a personal note, following the passing of his grandmother during the week, following on from a lengthy period away from the squad through injury.

Guardiola continued, “He comes (back) from two months (out), he had an incredibly tough week last week, he lost his grandmother, and it’s not easy for any human being, but of course he’s not in his best shape, but it’s normal. He’s so tall, two months (out).”

Haaland and his Manchester City teammates will continue their run of Premier League fixtures on Saturday evening when they travel to the south coast to take on Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.