Man City target was ‘put through the wringer’ in nightmare performance against Erling Haaland


Joško Gvardiol was ‘put through the wringer’ by Erling Haaland as the Manchester City star ran riot against RB Leipzig.

Haaland scored five times as City eased to a record-equalling 7-0 win over the German side, progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League 8-1 on aggregate.

21-year-old Gvardiol is regarded as perhaps the best young defender in Europe following an impressive campaign with Croatia at the World Cup.

The centre-half also turned in an excellent display in the first leg against City, scoring the late equaliser that kept his side in the tie until Tuesday night’s demolition job at the Eithad.

Chelsea failed with a bid said to be worth £77million for Gvardiol last year with the Blues among the sides jostling for his signature this summer. Manchester City and Real Madrid themselves also in the race to sign him.

The defender was given a torrid evening up against Haaland, however, with the former Borussia Dortmund star scoring three before in the first-half, notching two more before Pep Guardiola replaced him on the hour mark.

Assessing Gvardiol’s performance at half-time, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand highlighted the job Haaland had done on him during a ‘nightmare’ first period.

‘We spoke about him, he is being courted by all the top clubs in the world,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘He [Haaland] has put him through the wringer this half. He has been nervous, every duel they have had, he’s pretty much come out on top. Nightmare first-half.’

Manchester City fans have thanked Erling Haaland for single-handedly ‘dropping the price tag’ of Josko Gvardiol during his demolition of RB Leipzig.

One fan said: “Gvardiol gets rinsed by Lionel Messi and Haaland. quite the resume, not many can compare.” A second posted: “Haaland dropped Gvardiol’s price.”

A third said: “Haaland nicely bringing Gvardiol price tag down.” A fourth concluded: “Haaland scored 5 goals past Gvardiol to lower his price tag.”

Despite the horror show from the RB Leipzig defence, Gvardiol has been backed to come good by Owen Hargreaves, who sees it as a learning experience.

Speaking on BT Sport, Hargreaves said of the defender: “I think he will be one of the best defenders in the world one day, he would’ve learned a lot tonight.”

Fabrizio Romano reported earlier on Tuesday that Gvardiol remains one of City’s top summer targets, with Chelsea and Liverpool also in the race.

Daily Star Sport understands City will go in hard for World Cup star Gvardiol should they lose Aymeric Laporte this summer.

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