Erling Haaland inspires Pep Guardiola with a goal against BVB

Erling Haaland inspires Pep Guardiola with a goal against BVB

JOsep Guardiola Sala was born in January 1971. Therefore, he should not have any personal memories of December 22, 1973, since he was only just before his third birthday on that day. Still white Guardiola, now 51 years old and just called Pep by everyone, pretty much exactly what happened at Fubol Club Barcelona’s Camp Nou just before Christmas 1971. It was the 44th minute of the league game against Atlético Madrid when Johan Cruyff scored a magic goal to make it 1-0. In the jump. With the leg outstretched. Almost with the hoe. Barça won 2-1, the football was richer by a memory.

Tobias Rabe

Responsible editor for Sport Online.

Guardiola recalled this on Wednesday evening. For what he saw with his own eyes was almost a copy of the gate that so enchanted almost half a century ago. This time it was the 84th minute. It was a Champions League group stage match. Manchester City met Borussia Dortmund. and Erling Haaland scored to 2:1. However, the facts do not adequately describe the artistic value of this hit. João Cancelo crossed with his outside instep, Haaland jumped up at the second post, stretched his right foot up and steered the ball artistically into the goal. You don’t see that every day.

“Oh my god, what a goal,” said Guardiola as he saw the goal again on a screen. “I’ve never seen anything like that.” Wait! The coach of Manchester City suddenly remembered one of those days when history was written, which he himself only knows from stories, pictures and videos. “Johan Cruyff scored a pretty similar goal against Atlético Madrid a long time ago in Barcelona. It’s nice that Erling Johan imitated Cruyff.” It is doubtful that the goalscorer was aware of the resemblance, but Guardiola gave the ultimate praise by comparing Haaland to Cruyff: “People know about Cruyff’s influence on me, as a person, mentor and manager.”

“My goal was even better”

Haaland himself couldn’t do much with the time travel and historical charge of his trick. He’s just happy: “We scored two wonderful goals today. But mine was, honestly, a little bit better,” he said with a mischievous laugh. Manchester City’s other goal – a long-range shot right into the corner of defender John Stones – was also spectacular. Dortmund had meanwhile taken the lead with a relatively mean header from close range by Jude Bellingham after a cross from Marco Reus. But all of these were just footnotes to a game with the spectacular final punchline that Haaland delivered.

Until a few weeks ago, he was still wearing the Dortmund jersey. The reunion was warm, before and after the game. When Haaland had finished his work, he comforted his former colleagues, who were angry about the defeat in an intense game in which they had done a lot right for a long time. Coach Edin Terzic’s tactics worked – until Haaland spiraled into the air. “That was an action that only Erling Haaland can actually implement,” said Dortmund’s sporting director Sebastian Kehl: “We have benefited from it in recent years.” Now Borussia are suffering from it.

When all the hymns of praise had been sung, Haaland described the scene more soberly: “It’s my job to wait in the box (the penalty area/editorial department) for the right moment and score goals. Then the moment came and I did my job.” That may sound so simple, but it is so difficult to implement. The 22-year-old Norwegian knows how to do it. He scored 62 goals in just 67 games for BVB. “Dortmund was very good, it was one of the best games I’ve seen from them in recent years,” said Haaland on DAZN. “It was tough but in the end three points count and it’s good for me to have the points and the goal at the end.”

That sounded too sober to be true. Then Haaland also admitted that the reunion was “really special”, not just because of the goal. “Of course I knew that before the game, but it was more than I expected,” said Haaland. “It was weird playing all of them but it was nice and an emotional game. It’s not long since I played there and I really liked everyone at the club. It’s a great club, I had a great time there.” But that’s over now. Haaland’s present is called Manchester City. And the time there began with doubts.

Because the coach Guardiola had rarely been able to cope with a typical center forward. If you ask him, he would probably prefer to play with ten midfielders – and also prefer the goalkeeper to initiate the perfect game. So what should Guardiola do with a young bull who would rather bang his head through a wall than let the ball circulate through his own ranks? Many asked themselves this question when the commitment for 75 million euros was confirmed in the summer. Guardiola scattered them by setting up Haaland. Haaland scattered them by delivering goals to Guardiola. And reminded him of his great idol Johan Cruyff.

13 goals in nine games are a language that satisfies the perfectionist football aesthetes Guardiola. Maybe Haaland is the piece of the puzzle that was missing so far. “Last season wasn’t bad, we won a lot of titles. But many teams want to win the Champions League. If we play like we did in the last 30 minutes, we’ll be competitive,” he said. Haaland already has his team-mates on his side: “We’ve won a lot in my seven years here,” said Kevin De Bruyne. “We are very good with him, but we were also without him. It started very well for us and hopefully he will score a lot of goals for us.”

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