Haaland's dream debut an ominous sign for rivals

China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-09 09:14
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Erling Haaland celebrates scoring Manchester City's second goal with Phil Foden (left) and Joao Cancelo during Sunday's 2-0 English Premier League victory over West Ham United in London. REUTERS

Norwegian warns more to come as City begins title defense in style

Manchester City's new signing Erling Haaland has been quick to adapt to the English Premier League champion's style of play, manager Pep Guardiola said after the Norwegian's double earned a 2-0 win over West Ham United on Sunday.

Haaland made his league debut by scoring a goal in each half, including a penalty in the first period, as City began its title defense in impressive fashion at the London Stadium.

"We didn't have any doubt a guy who has scored goals since he was born that he would score goals here," Guardiola told Sky Sports about the 22-year-old striker who joined City from Borussia Dortmund in the offseason.

"Haaland gives us his qualities. We are not going to change much, we will adapt, we know we have a threat there. He is an incredible deep runner and finisher.

"He is adapting perfectly in the way we want to play. We are going to find him more and more and hopefully we can give him the opportunity to score more goals."

West Ham manager David Moyes said his team had been outfoxed by City, who dominated possession in Sunday's game.

"They were so good. I felt that tactically they completely outdid us today," Moyes said.

"It was a case of trying to stay in the game. It was only 1-0 at halftime with a penalty and it gave us an opportunity and a chance.

"I felt like we had not played well enough so I wanted to try and change the run of the game. We got a little bit more of the ball for about five minutes. They were far better than us and we couldn't cope today."

Haaland said he is only getting started after scoring twice on his Premier League debut.

The Norwegian won and then coolly slotted home a penalty to open the scoring before latching onto Kevin De Bruyne's through-ball to become the first City player to score twice on his league debut since Sergio Aguero.

"It's about the connections we do every day in training. This will come even more so I'm not worried," said Haaland. "It could have been more."

Haaland is seen as the successor to Aguero, who is the club's all-time leading scorer.

Guardiola's men won the Premier League for the past two seasons largely playing without a central striker and the City boss was delighted with how quickly the move for Haaland paid off.

"Erling is a good finisher and he is adapting perfectly," said Guardiola.

"He was good. I can't teach him to score goals and he just needs to be comfortable."

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