Manchester City superstar Erling Haaland had a poor outing against Real Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Despite an improvement from his display in the first leg, the player failed to get on the scoresheet despite multiple attempts. The player looked off in his game as manager Pep Guardiola was forced to take his star striker off the field for Julian Alvarez at the end of the 90 minutes with the game headed into extra-time.

Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry spoke of the striker’s game on his regular appearance on CBS Sports Golazo’s Champions League broadcast. The striker alongside fellow pundit Jamie Carragher displayed what the striker needed to improve in his game if he wanted to get an upper hand over the defenders.

“I would have said to him, analyzing his game, that he often doesn’t feel comfortable when he’s there. So I would have asked him to be coming from maybe an off-side position or sideways, where the defender doesn’t see you in his face. And as soon as you come, and the ball is being played… as soon as you go in front of the defender, you go back into his and hold him at the same time,” Henry stated.


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This way, Haaland would be between the ball and the defender. “Once you do this, you do not wanna lose that space. Because why? You feel close to the goal. Then, when the ball comes, obviously you go sideways. So because when you go sideways, the space that you create is virtually impossible for the defender to get the ball.”


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Haaland had a subpar display against Real’s Antonio Rudiger and Arsenal’s William Saliba. Both central defenders had an advantage over the striker and kept him silent throughout the game, keeping his touches inside the box in single digits. His recent performances have raised questions over his quality with former United star Roy Keane even labeling the player as a striker fit for League Two! Talk about a massive statement.

Roy Keane is not pleased with Erling Haaland

Manchester United legend Roy Keane has been very vocal about his displeasure with Manchester City’s Erling Haaland as of late. The striker’s performance has come under question with the player failing to replicate his goal-scoring exploits from last season. Keane believes the Norwegian is a liability to his teammates who have to go out of their way and feed the striker inside the box to get him to score.


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Keane’s comments have not gone down well with a lot of fans and experts. Even Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola blasted the pundit in a press conference, claiming he doesn’t remember Keane being a stunning goal-scorer. “I am not agreeing with him. It’s like I said, he’s a manager for the second or third league – I don’t think so. He’s the best striker in the world and helped us to win what we won last season, and the reason why we don’t create many chances is not because of Erling. We played an exceptional game against Arsenal,” Guardiola opined.


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While Guardiola has wasted no time in defending his players, Haaland’s recent performances haven’t done him any favor. What are your thoughts on Erling Haaland’s performance this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by

Saurabh Saket


One take at a time

Saurabh Saket is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. He is a passionate Borussia Dortmund fan despite them not lifting the league title in the last twelve years. This writing machine wants to make a difference with his proficiency in journalism.
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Edited by

Sreeda U M