Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarterfinals, to advance to the semi-finals on a 2-4 aggregate. And though Erling Haaland couldn’t score once in the 180 minutes, City coach Pep Guardiola said Haaland is ‘almost unstoppable’.
City are now in the semi-finals for the first time since Pep became coach, five years ago. They responded to Jude Bellingham’s goal yesterday with two of their own- Riyad Mahrez’s penalty and Phil Foden’s strike.
But though Haaland was not among the scorers last night, City’s pre-match preparation and interviews all warned against him.
Haaland spent a frustrating game at Signal Iduna Park because Guardiola felt cutting off the forward’s supply line was key.
The coach praised the young player: indeed, Guardiola said Haaland is ‘almost unstoppable’.
“I would say this player is almost unstoppable,” he told a post-match news conference, via Outlook India.
“And the best way to defend against these talented players is to not let them have the ball,” he continued. “They want the ball, they need the ball, so don’t [let them] have it.”
He went on: “For that, we need to play good and try to let him live away from our box. It happened in both games.”
“He is a player not [just] because he is fast, the quality of his first control, how he links with his mates, strong in the air and good finishing,” Pep said in further praise of Haaland. “He’s a top-class player, top class, and will be stronger in the future.”
Could this be Pep’s way of luring the Bundesliga wonder to City?