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Pep Guardiola backs Erling Haaland to bounce back after failing to find the net in City's 4-0 win

Erling Haaland had just EIGHT goals in Manchester City’s 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth in a frustrating home debut…

  • Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland after he shot a blank on Saturday
  • With goals from Gundogan, De Bruyne, Foden and a Lerma OG, City won 4-0
  • Haaland was peripheral in comfortable victory over Bournemouth

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Pep Guardiola has praised Erling Haaland’s performance in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, despite the Norwegian having just eight touches in the game and failing to get on the scoresheet.

The Premier League champions took two wins out of two after last weekend’s opening day win at West Ham, with goals from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Jefferson Lerma own goal.

Yet Haaland only touched the ball eight times during the game against Bournemouth – just once more than Romelu Lukaku’s record low of seven in a Premier League game for Chelsea against Crystal Palace last season.

Erling Haaland failed to score on Saturday in City's 4-0 win over Bournemouth

Erling Haaland failed to score on Saturday in City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth

Haaland only touched the ball eight times in the game against the Cherries backline

Haaland only touched the ball eight times in the game against the Cherries backline

Haaland only touched the ball eight times in the game against the Cherries backline

In fact, Haaland completed just two passes in the entire game – the lowest total for a City player under Guardiola.

It saw the striker fail to add to the two goals he scored last week in Sunday’s win at London Stadium.

However, the City boss has jumped the defense of his summer signing by suggesting he gave his best against the Cherries high line.

Pep Guardiola has backed his star striker this season to face the Premier League defence

Pep Guardiola has backed his star striker this season to face the Premier League defence

Pep Guardiola has backed his star striker this season to face the Premier League defence

“The hardest job in the world is when you’re a striker against a (defense) with three central midfielders, three central defenders and you’re in the middle,” Guardiola said after the win.

“We will encounter many of these situations, but it is only a matter of time. With the quality of the player we have behind him (Haaland), we will find him.”

Haaland may not have contributed to his two goals against the Hammers, but he did provide City’s first for Gundogan. He showed some frustration with Phil Foden during the match when the England man chose to go in front of goal rather than beat his teammate.

Phil Foden was one of the players on target as City took two wins out of two this season

Phil Foden was one of the players on target as City took two wins out of two this season

Phil Foden was one of the players on target as City took two wins out of two this season

It is not the first time Haaland has been confronted with questions about his possible role in the City team. Doubts arose about the No. 9 city after his performance in the Community Shield when Guardiola’s men were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool.

But the £51million signing quickly hit back with a brace on his Premier League debut and his manager believes he will live up to his billing.

The next step for City is a trip to St James’ Park to play Newcastle next weekend, as the champions look to continue their perfect start to the season.

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