Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said Erling Haaland’s outstanding winner against Borussia Dortmund reminded him of a goal scored by the late, great Johan Cruyff.
Haaland leapt high into the air to acrobatically turn home Joao Cancelo’s superb cross, completing a remarkable turnaround for City after Dortmund had stifled their creative threat for 80 minutes at the Etihad.
The effort was Haaland’s 13th goal of what is already turning out to be an incredible debut campaign for City, and the latest reminder of the all-round threat that the Norwegian possesses.
Asked about the quality of Haaland‘s strike, Guardiola told BT Sport: “What a goal. I remember a long time ago in Barcelona Johan Cruyff scored one quite similar against Atletico Madrid. It’s nice Erling emulated Johan Cruyff.”
The Spaniard was less effusive about the performance of his side, however, with a laboured display allowing Dortmund to take the lead through Jude Bellingham just before the hour mark. City eventually turned things around with John Stones equalising before Haaland’s winner.
“We are used to doing it [comebacks] lately. I don’t like it,” Guardiola admitted. “We played in the wrong gear today. No aggression. We were passive. The moment we changed rhythm with Phil [Foden], Bernardo [Silva] and Julian [Alvarez], we changed our pace and scored two excellent goals.
“I’m pretty sure the way were playing in the first half John [Stones] wouldn’t have had the courage to try it [his shot] but we had the rhythm and momentum and we said OK it’s going to happen. It was exceptional. I’m so happy for him.”
Guardiola also credited the performance of Dortmund, adding: “They are an exceptional team. We knew it. We weren’t good enough today. At the same time it’s always good to have that resilience – let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. Having Julian and Erling in the box, having that alternative, it works.”
City now top Group G by three points, having convincingly seen off Europa League specialists Sevilla 4-0 on matchday one.