The pressure must be racking up for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City as his chase for the Champions League continues. It has been a case of near misses for the Spanish manager and his massively financially doped squad.
The expectations are high, and Guardiola started another season for the Holy Grail in fine form.
When Manchester City signed Haaland this summer, the general agreement was that Pep Guardiola has no excuses. He has a proven striker, and it is time to deliver or depart the club. After seven years at Manchester City, winning the Premier League seems the bare minimum.
On Tuesday night, the Premier League champions started their Champions League campaign with a solid victory in the south of Spain. They took on a Sevilla side that has been in terrible form this season, and the least expected was a victory. The Premier League side did not disappoint, with Haaland helping himself to a brace.
Manchester City started their quest for the Champions League with a trip to Sevilla. On any other day, the Andalusian side would have been a worthy opponent for the Premier League champions. Things have been terrible for Sevilla this season, and a good game against Manchester City would have been the Andalusian side scoring a goal.
The night belonged to Haaland. The Norwegian continued his goal-scoring form this season by bagging a brace against Sevilla.
Manchester City was ruthless in defeating a hapless Sevilla, with Haaland confirming his status as an elite player. He scored a brace to take his Champions League tally to 25 goals in 20 appearances. Manchester City won 4-0, but most of the accolades should go to the Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, who can’t stop scoring.
Sevilla came into the game off a 3-0 loss to Barcelona. The Andalusian side felt the fury of former Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski who bagged a brace in that game.
It took just 20 minutes for Haaland to make his mark on the game. The Norwegian forward connected with a flying finish at the far post, off a cross from Kevin de Bruyne to set the ball rolling. For all the dominance by the Citizens, they had to wait till the second half to make their superiority count. Foden scored the second goal after Man City went on a counter-attack with the Englishman having time and space to beat the goalkeeper.
Haaland was back again as he struck in the 67th minute to cement his credentials. By the time Ruben Dias scored, the game was over as a contest. The Portuguese defender hit an injury-time goal to add gloss to the scoreline.
The gap in quality between the two sides was evident, and Guardiola has run out of excuses if he doesn’t win the Champions League this season. The Spanish manager has a team a super team that voids any argument about Guardiola’s coaching ability. It is a win-or-bust situation for Guardiola.