Guardiola ‘satisfied’ with ‘incredible’ Haaland but some Man City stars ‘were not at their best’

Pep Guardiola reserved praise for Erling Haaland and Phil Foden after Manchester City beat Southampton 4-0 at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon.

Haaland scored his 20th goal of the season for Manchester City against Southampton in what was just his 13th appearance for the club.

This marks an incredible start to the 2022/23 campaign for Haaland following his £51m summer move from Borussia Dortmund.

The prolific striker netted three consecutive hat-tricks in home games ahead of Southampton’s trip to the Etihad.

He could have scored another hat-trick this weekend but he uncharacteristically missed a couple of chances against the Saints.

His goal came with around 25 minutes to go. Man City were already 3-0 up at this point as Joao Cancelo, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez got on the scoresheet.

This 4-0 win extends City’s unbeaten start to the season to nine games in the league. They are also now top of the league ahead of Arsenal’s game on Sunday against Liverpool.

The Gunners will return to the top of the table again if they beat Jurgen Klopp’s side but it will be a tough ask to keep up with Man City.

Guardiola stated after his side’s victory that Haaland is an “incredible weapon” and he recognised that Foden is “playing really good”:

“The result is good, we played quite good. We struggled to break their high pressing. Last season we suffered a lot against them but today we were much better,” Guardiola told reporters.

“Some players were not at their best but we create a lot of chances. We were solid. It was a good game.

“For a long time Phil Foden is playing really good. The impact from him is great.

“Erling Haaland had the chances again. He scored a brilliant goal. It’s an incredible weapon for us, a big threat. I am so satisfied.

“We will see the result from Arsenal and Liverpool, always in Premier League there are good games.

“Being close to the top of the league is important going into the World Cup.”

Mahrez also reacted to the 4-0 win after the final whistle. He thinks Haaland “is on fire” for the Premier League champions:

“It was a difficult game, we made it easy by scoring early and then we controlled. We had a lot of chances to score more but we didn’t. We didn’t concede much, it was a controlled game.

“Haaland is part of our team, he is our striker. Like any other striker, if we can find him it’s perfect because he is on fire.

“If not, there are a lot of players and everyone can make a difference. We have to keep going with the momentum.”

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