Haaland ‘didn’t recover’ in time for Copenhagen clash; Guardiola happy with ‘good point’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has revealed that Erling Haaland was not risked for the 0-0 draw against Copenhagen on Tuesday.

Comments from the Spanish manager suggest that Haaland has a slight issue following his side’s 4-0 win against Southampton.

The absence of the Nordic resulted in the Citizens failing to score in a match for the first time in 23 encounters.

In fairness to the Premier League champions, they were reduced to ten men in the first half following Sergio Gomez’s straight red card.

Riyad Mahrez also missed a penalty in the opening 45 minutes and Rodri had a wonderful goal ruled out for a handball on the Algerian winger.

Rodri accepts that this is how some games will go when you are playing a man down, and refuses to believe it was points dropped for his side.

“Sometimes it’s like this, you have to live these types of games,” he told BT Sport.

“With an early red card it’s difficult for the team but we fight to the end and have chances to score – a disallowed goal and a missed penalty but it’s difficult when it’s 10 against 11.

“I’m a bit frustrated of course, I don’t think anyone realised what happened but apparently it’s a handball. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not but it is what it is. We respect the decision.

“Then we have a penalty miss and the red card changes the game.

“We wanted to come here and win, it’s frustrating but we have a red card and we fight to the end.

“It’s one important point, we’ll see the result of the other game. Of course we want to win but for the way we played, 10 against 11, we cannot be sad.”

The City manager agreed that it was a handy point for his side given the circumstances.

“We started really well with 11 and then play one hour with 10 and we resist,” Guardiola said. “When we have the ball we are clever, we didn’t push too much.

“It’s a good point. Not mathematically but we are almost qualified for the next round and this is the main target.

“I didn’t see (the handballs).

“Now we have to go to Dortmund and try to secure first position.

“We will travel back to Manchester immediately, tomorrow is a day off and then we prepare for Liverpool on Sunday.”

Guardiola suggested in his post-match press conference that Haaland has a slight issue which is why he did not come off the bench to score an inevitable winner.

Explaining his decision not to play the Norwegian, Guardiola said: “He finished the game against Southampton so, so tired and didn’t recover well.

“Yesterday was not good, today a little better but not perfect so we decide not to take the risk.”

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