Guardiola admits City must find a way to get Haaland more involved in their play

Didi Hamaan admitted City “were a better team without Haaland, even if he scores 40 goals this season”.

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City must find a way to get Erling Haaland more involved in their play.

Manchester City dropped three important points against Manchester United as they lost 2-1 at Old Trafford. The Norway international was a peripheral figure in Saturday’s loss, having only a couple of half-chances and just 19 touches in the match.

The leading goal-scorer of the season has now gone three games without a goal. He was only a second-half substitute at Southampton. He netted 27 goals before in just 21 outings.

Former City midfielder Didi Hamaan used social media on Saturday to claim City “were a better team without Haaland, even if he scores 40 goals this season”.

Guardiola is unlikely to agree with that but he is still working to fully integrate his summer signing.

“At the moment we have that process because when teams are sat in their 18-yard box, it is more difficult but we have to find him a little bit more, yes,” Guardiola said.

“He had enough touches but it’s true that when you are looking at areas and you have to look at him. But we will do it.”

The Sky Blues have struggled for consistency this season since the resumption of league football. They played a draw against Everton on New Year’s Day and now suffered back-to-back defeats against Southampton in the League Cup and United in the Premier League.

However, Guardiola said the such inconsistencies were not down to the change in system that Haaland’s arrival has enforced.

“I would say the inconsistency was in terms of results but not performances,” he said. “In general, (but) not against Southampton, we were consistent in our games.

“Of course, against Everton we played better, but they had one shot on target and we drew. They punished you when before it didn’t happen, we always found a way to get the results.

“If we play good or bad, we always had that chance. I think this is our strength and we have to improve but in terms of performance, I think we are consistent.”

City took the lead at Old Trafford but crumbled after Bruno Fernandes’ controversial equaliser, allowing Marcus Rashford to score what proved to be the winner only four minutes later.

“We were there all the time, I could recognise my team,” he said. “That is all I can say. At Southampton…what is this? What is this team? But this was the opposite. I recognise my team from many, many years.”

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