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Pep Guardiola 'admits' he brought Erling Haaland off to protect Lionel Messi record

Pep Guardiola 'admits' he brought Erling Haaland off to protect Lionel Messi record

Erling Haaland was in fine form as Manchester City thrash Burnley in the FA Cup

Pep Guardiola joked about Lionel Messi whilst speaking about Erling Haaland after the Manchester City striker netted another hat trick.

On Saturday, City took on a Burnley side managed by club legend Vincent Kompany as they looked to book a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Although the Championship leaders gave a good account of themselves, the goals started to rain after the first was scored in the 32nd minute.

Haaland scored a brace in the space of three minutes to give City a 2-0 lead at the interval.

In the second half, City moved up the gears as they added four extra goals.

Norway superstar Haaland completed his second hat trick in four days after 59 minutes. Julian Alvarez scored two whilst Cole Palmer was also on the scoresheet.

After the match, Guardiola was full of praise for the 22-year-old, whilst also joking about Messi after he took Haaland off on the back of his five goals against RB Leipzig. Some fans thought Guardiola brought Haaland off so he doesn't break Messi's record of five goals in a Champions League match.

Guardiola said: “I don’t know the number, this guy will have a problem in the future, people expect every game he scores three or four goals and this isn’t going to happen.

“I know he doesn’t care because he is so positive, so optimistic, he never complains and always looks himself. He’s an incredible threat, his joy of life, he’s always positive, optimistic, that helps a lot.

“Eight goals in four days, I played 11 years in Barcelona and scored 11 goals. Incredible, I make the substitution so he doesn’t break the record of Messi in the FA Cup, that’s why.”

The City boss added: “It is incredible he scores goals only playing one hour. As much as we play good he’s going to score. Julian again, what a partnership, when they play together they score goals. The target numbers I don’t know. We play like this Erling will score goals.”

How many goals will Haaland score this season? Only time will tell.

Featured Image Credit: PA/FA Cup

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