Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Erling Haaland’s spectacular winner in Wednesday’s victory over Borussia Dortmund reminded him of former Dutch great Johan Cruyff.
The Norwegian leapt at the back post, six minutes from the end of the Champions League Group G game to hook a Joao Cancelo cross into the net with the outside of his left-foot.
“What a goal. I remember a long time ago in Barcelona Johan Cruyff scored one quite similar against Atletico Madrid. It’s nice Erling emulated Johan Cruyff,” Guardiola, a former Barca player and coach, told reporters.
City had to come back from a goal down with two strikes in the final 10 minutes to secure the win against a determined German side and Guardiola was far from happy about the way his team, once again, had to turn the game around.
“We are used to doing it lately. I don’t like it,” he said, reflecting on a poor first-half display from his team that only changed with a 58th-minute triple substitution.
“We played in the wrong gear today. No aggression. We were passive. The moment we changed rhythm with Phil (Foden), Bernardo (Silva) and Julian (Alvarez), we changed our pace and scored two excellent goals,” he said.
The equaliser came via a thundering long-range drive from defender John Stones.
“I’m pretty sure the way were playing in the first half John wouldn’t have had the courage to try it but we had the rhythm and momentum and we said OK it’s going to happen. It was exceptional. I’m so happy for him,” he said.
“They are an exceptional team. We knew it. We weren’t good enough today. At the same time it’s always good to have that resilience - let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Having Julian and Erling in the box, having that alternative, it works,” Guardiola added.