Pep Guardiola admits concerns about Erling Haaland involvement
Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City need to find ways to involve Erling Haaland more.
The 22-year-old drew a blank against neighbourhood rivals United at the weekend, as Erik ten Hag's Red Devils came from a goal down to win 2-1 at a bouncing Old Trafford.
But the fact that Haaland, who already has 21 Premier League goals to his name, didn't get on the scoresheet wasn't the most obvious point of concern for City, rather his inability to get involved in the game.
Indeed, the Norwegian had just one blocked effort during the 90 minutes and touched the ball only 19 times - many of those after he had dropped deep during slow phases of play.
City looked less of a threat against a well organised United, and Guardiola has acknowledged the Premier League champions have got to find a way of integrating Haaland more.
“At the moment we have that process because when teams are sat in their 18-yard box, it is more difficult but we have to find him a little bit more, yes,” Guardiola said.
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“(Against United) he had enough touches but it’s true that when you are looking at areas and you have to look at him. But we will do it."
On City's recent inconsistency, the Spaniard continued: “I would say the inconsistency was in terms of results but not performances. In general, (but) not against Southampton, we were consistent in our games.
“Of course, against Everton we played better, but they had one shot on target and we drew. They punished you when before it didn’t happen, we always found a way to get the results.
“If we play good or bad, we always had that chance. I think this is our strength and we have to improve but in terms of performance, I think we are consistent.”
City now trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by eight points after they comfortably overcame north London rivals Tottenham 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.