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Guardiola: Haaland did not feel good

1 Apr 2023
Premier League - Manchester City v Liverpool

Man City head coach explains leading scorer's absence in the 4-1 win over Liverpool

Pep Guardiola said that he decided not to risk Erling Haaland for the match with Liverpool as the Manchester City striker did not feel fully fit.

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The league's leading scorer with an exceptional 28 goals this season had pulled out of international duty with Norway last week with a groin problem.

Guardiola says after a chat with the forward it was decided not to feature him in the day’s first match.

“He is much, much better but not fully fit for today,” Guardiola told BT Sport before the match. “He didn’t feel good, we spoke and said, 'No risk.' ”

Julian Alvarez led the City line in Haaland’s absence, starting for only the seventh time in the Premier League, as Man City looked to close the eight-point gap on leaders Arsenal, and the Argentinian scored to equalise after Liverpool went ahead.

“Tactics are players so the quality Erling has is a specific one,” Guardiola added. “Julian has other ones and we are fully confident.

“During the season always you have this type of problem with injuries and the only thing you can’t do is complain. We have never done it and the players are going to play.”

In the end, Haaland's absence was not felt as City closed the gap to five points with a dominant 4-1 win.

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