‘His body language was not good’ – Erling Haaland told to ‘relax’ by Pep Guardiola after Man City forward’s frustrations in Everton victory

Erling Haaland’s body language during the first half of Manchester City’s victory over Everton on Saturday was “not good”, according to Pep Guardiola.

Haaland had been frustrated in the first half of the Citizens’ match against the Toffees as they had held the defending champions up to the interval. However, the Norwegian super striker came good for Guardiola as he scored twice to give his side all three points on the day. But despite the goals, the Spanish coach had a lot of advice for his forward, after some overly exuberant frustrations in the first period.

Pep Guardiola Man City 2023-24

Talking to the media on Monday, Guardiola said: “These two goals will help him a lot, to clear the mind. His body language in the first half was not good. The second half was much, much better. For him when he scores a goal, his mood is different. After it he makes more movements and everything. He’s better. He has to learn that if he doesn’t score he has to have the right body language. He has to have this mood where he’s positive and he’s saying: ‘OK it will come, it will come.’

“It looks like I am complaining about Erling but it was in general [I meant]. How many games did Erling play and how many goals? His body language is not a problem. Erling is young, playing in the most difficult position on the pitch surrounded by four or five players with minor space. In the first half maybe we didn’t have the special delivery players, like Kevin [De Bruyne, who later came on] for example, who can find him.

“Because he is so young, in that moment he has to be positive. When he scored a goal, he reacted but he doesn’t need to score because he helps us for many things. Not just scoring a goal. He’s a huge competitor who wants to score goals. OK, I know that, we know that; so [he can] relax. If we don’t score today or if he doesn’t score in 10 minutes, it’s OK but in the process he has to try to be ‘let’s go’ because the team always wins when they overcome bad moments.”


The brace against Everton was the 23-year-old’s first goals following a foot injury that kept him sidelined for two months. Despite having missed a major part of the season, Haaland still sits at the top of the Premier League’s top scorers charts with 16 goals. He has scored 21 times in 25 appearances across all competitions this season.

The Norwegian striker’s next match will be in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 clash against Copenhagen on Tuesday, February 13. He has scored a record 40 goals in 35 Champions League games so far.

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