Pep Guardiola explains why Erling Haaland didn’t come on for Man City vs Newcastle


Pep Guardiola admits he did not pay much thought to the idea of bringing Erling Haaland on against Newcastle in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup defeat.

Manchester City were beaten at St James’ Park despite dominating the first-half thanks to Alexander Isak’s goal after the break.

Though winning a quadruple is unlikely and a feat never before achieved in English football, the idea of City potentially winning it under Guardiola is generally not particularly remote.

Treble winners last season, they have taken the Carabao Cup seriously throughout his tenure but will have to wait until next season at least to reclaim their crown.

Guardiola made a raft of changes for the game, including leaving Haaland on the bench.

Despite their lack of end product in attacking areas, the City boss insists he did not think about turning to the Norway international given the amount of games he’s played recently.

Explaining the decision to rest Haaland, Guardiola said: “I thought Kyle was a lot of minutes, Erling a lot of minutes We have a lot of games ahead of us. Maybe the last 10-15 minutes [to bring him on] but I decided not to do it.

“We score a lot of goals since I arrive here. The statistics how many goals we score – with different strikers, with wingers with attacking midfielders but Newcastle is a top side. Defensively work really well. It’s not easy to do it, but we have time to have our chances for the last pass, the last action and this is what I’m looking for.”

And Guardiola insisted his lineup was consistent with the sides he has played in the Carabao Cup in recent years, saying: “We decide for this lineup but always have done that in the Carabao Cup since day one arrive. The Carabao Cup I always play the players who don’t play regularly.

“If you go through, go through. When you arrive semi-finals, think okay now we try to win it. I don’t want to waste energy in this competition at that stage. Unfortunately we have a lot of injuries that the guys who play don’t play. Today the guys who don’t play regularly. Unfortunately I play Manu Akanji who I would like to rest, but that is the decision always have done.”

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