Pep Guardiola stuck for words to describe Erling Haaland’s heroics

Haaland is just six goals behind last season’s golden-boot winning total.

Pep Guardiola was stuck for words to describe Erling Haaland’s latest goalscoring heroics as Manchester City returned to winning ways.

The Norwegian scored a brace including one from the penalty spot as City bounced back from last week’s loss at Liverpool with a 3-1 victory over Brighton at the Etihad.

The striker’s pair took his tally since joining the club to a remarkable 22 from just 15 appearances.

With his 17 goals came in the Premier League, just six behind last season’s golden-boot winning total.

“My English language is not big enough,” said City manager Guardiola when asked to comment on Haaland’s performance.

“Erling has the quality. With big space he can do it but with small space he can do it. This is the reality, it is fantastic.”

Despite Haaland’s first-half brace, it still needed a stunning strike from Kevin De Bruyne to secure the win 15 minutes from time after Brighton rallied with a Leandro Trossard reply.

De Bruyne played an influential role throughout the game but Guardiola feels the Belgian playmaker has not been at his best lately.

“It can be better,” the Spaniard said of De Bruyne’s form. “He is not playing at his top level, not yet. He scored a fantastic goal but he is not playing at his best.

“He knows (this). I don’t need to tell him. His dynamism is still not perfect but the goal was outstanding and thanks to him we did not suffer in the last 15 minutes.”

Guardiola was happy with how his side closed out the victory after a strong showing from the Seagulls in the second half.

Guardiola said: “The turning point was when Riyad had the chance. Normally he doesn’t miss them but it is football and it can happen.

“One minute later we conceded a goal. After that it was difficult, they were better but Kevin came up with a masterclass action and we won the game.

“The game was one of the toughest ones we could face. They propose the type of game we are not used to. Few teams are used to it.”

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