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Pep Guardiola explains why Erling Haaland is not on Lionel Messi's level

Rory O'Callaghan

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Pep Guardiola explains why Erling Haaland is not on Lionel Messi's level

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has explained why Erling Haaland is not yet on Lionel Messi's level despite his incredible form this season.

Haaland continued his remarkable start to his Premier League career by scoring a hat-trick in Sunday's 6-3 win over Manchester United at the Etihad.

It was the 22-year-old's third hat-trick of the campaign, in only eight league appearances.

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The Norway international has now scored 17 goals in just 11 games for City in all competitions.

He looks well on course to claim the Premier League Golden Boot and break numerous records in his debut season in English football.

When asked if feels that Haaland will score every time he plays – as was the case with Lionel Messi at Barcelona – Guardiola said: "The difference is, maybe that Erling needs all his mates to do it. It is unbelievable.

"[But] Messi had the ability himself to do it." 

Guardiola's comments have divided City supporters on social media.

"That is truth be told. Messi does not need to be fed, while others player need to be fed," wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another added: "If Messi played in Premier League in his prime they would go absolutely nuts."

But another replied: "It's true that Messi scored some great individual goals but he had teammates like Xavi, [Sergio] Iniesta, Busquets and Yaya Toure for most of his goals." 

After Sunday's win, Haaland credited Guardiola's style of play for his goals.

"You can feel it all the time, you see the passes we give each other, we always want to go forward and we always want to attack," said Haaland.

Haaland has scored 14 goals in eight Premier League games (Image: Alamy)
Haaland has scored 14 goals in eight Premier League games (Image: Alamy)

"This is what I love about this team. In the end it's amazing.

"Confidence is good, it's always been good. After we played against Liverpool in the Community Shield it was still good after.

"I think it was good that match happened, that something happened and [I thought] I have to be a bit more ready."

Haaland will be hoping to add to his goals tally for the season when City return to action against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Erling Haaland, Football, Manchester City, Premier League, Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola

Rory O'Callaghan
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