Pep Guardiola: ‘No-one can compete’ with Man City’s star striker Erling Haaland

Pep Guardiola: ‘No-one can compete’ with Man City’s star striker Erling Haaland

Pep Guardiola has labelled Erling Haaland incomparable for his age, after the Manchester City striker continued his destructive start to Premier League life with a hat-trick in Sunday’s 6-3 win over United.

The Norwegian has made a stunning start at Manchester City, scoring 17 goals in just 11 appearances since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund.

His hat-trick against Manchester United on Sunday was remarkably his third in successive home Premier League games.

Manager Guardiola said: “At his age no one can compete with him. The numbers speak for themselves and inside, in the locker room, and on the pitch we see things that are not in the stats.”

Haaland was not the only City player to shine on Sunday, with midfielder Phil Foden, also 22, claiming a hat-trick.

Despite the high standards being set, Guardiola believes there is more to come from both of them.

The Spaniard said: “Phil is an exceptional player. He’s grown up a lot and is already many years with us.

“He’s reliable in terms of his physical condition and he’s so intense and clever in everything. He is able to play every three days.

“But both know they can do better and hopefully they can do it.”

One player yet to sparkle this term is Riyad Mahrez, one of the stars of last season’s title win and run to the Champions League semi-finals. The Algeria international has started just four times and has not scored.

Guardiola said: “I know perfectly Riyad, how important [he is]. We need him to come back to his best — his best in terms of personality, ability, quality, his love for this game and how he enjoys playing.

“Step by step he will come back. Now he’s not playing much, but he has to come back in better physical condition and then the rest will come along. As a player I cannot teach him anything, he’s too good.”

City already have a three-point lead in group G after winning their opening two matches against Sevilla and Dortmund.

They will now hope to take a firm stride to the last 16 in their back-to-back matches against the Danish champions.

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