Pep Guardiola isn’t adhering to the Erling Haaland narrative and is weirdly not overly concerned by his new striker missing a couple of chances.
Haaland frequently troubled the Liverpool defence, but failed to score and missed a few chances, including a very presentable one late on as City lost 3-1 to their great rivals at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Liverpool’s shiny new striker Darwin Nunez did score, leading to inevitable comparisons between the summer acquisitions.
But Guardiola is convinced Haaland will succeed at the Etihad despite a difficult game, as he has “incredible quality”.
“He had chances, two or three in the first half, and one in the end, and always is there,” was City manager Pep Guardiola’s assessment.
Of the Norway international’s glaring late miss, he added: “He is strong, another time he will put it in the net. It happened. It is football. He was there.
“He had another goal disallowed because the ball was over the line.
“He fought a lot and made the movements. It is good for him to see the reality of a new country and new league.
“He was there but today he didn’t score and another day he will score. He has an incredible quality and he will do it.
“He has had just two weeks, two weeks and a half, and I am really comfortable with what we are seeing since we arrived this season.
“I am not absolutely concerned. The reality is we have two or three months ahead of us. He is going to help us.”
Darwin Nunez meanewhile was introduced with 30 minutes to go and produced an impressive cameo.
He won the late penalty from which Mohamed Salah put the Reds 2-1 up and then stooped to head home in added time to seal a 3-1 win in Leicester.
And Jurgen Klopp hailed his new striker, while questioning those judging him too quickly.
“It was good, it was really good. It is clear it will get better with time,” said Klopp.
“We live in a world where everybody gets judged on first sight and that’s not helpful for anybody but it happens constantly.
“In the first few games (of pre-season) we were not even close to the fitness level of today and then when he came on, we passed each ball for him to chase it and after the third ball he was completely killed and then everybody judged his first touches and these kind of things.
“It’s just a joke but we have to live with that, he will deal with it brilliantly. We are patient and we know he can do good stuff.”
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