‘We could have scored MORE’: Pep Guardiola insists Man City could have been even better in front of goal despite netting SIX against Manchester United at the Etihad… and says ‘some players were not good today and have to improve’
- Manchester City smashed rivals Manchester United 6-3 at the Etihad on Sunday
- Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both scored hat-tricks for the reigning champions
- But boss Pep Guardiola feels there is still room for improvement in front of goal
- After the win, he said: ‘Some players were not good today and have to improve’
Typically, Pep Guardiola picked holes in Manchester City’s mauling of their bitter rivals.
The City manager was unimpressed with some ‘sloppiness’ from his players, even though they put six goals past Manchester United with hat-tricks from Phil Foden and Erling Haaland.
United scored three times in the second half to take some of the gloss off City’s performance.
Pep Guardiola admitted there was still room for improvement after thrashing Man United 6-3
Phil Foden (left) netted a hat-trick as City dominated their local rivals at the Etihad Stadium
The champions, the only side not to have lost so far this season, are a point behind league leaders Arsenal.
‘Perfection doesn’t exist, it’s impossible. But we must try to look there,’ Guardiola said. ‘We did good, we can do better. Many, many players made sloppy passes. This is not good. We have to be more consistent.
‘In some areas we were still not good, the simple things still we are not good enough. We are losing easy balls. We still conceded some actions for the opponent with simple things we were not doing well.’
Haaland’s phenomenal record in England continued after he scored a third consecutive home hat-trick, the only player ever to achieve that feat. He also obliterated the record for the quickest player to score three hat-tricks in the top flight. Haaland, 22, now has 14 goals in eight league appearances.
Erling Haaland also scored his third Premier League hat-trick of the season on Sunday
‘What I like in the last period of the game is he is involved,’ Guardiola added.
‘He said (earlier in the season), “I prefer to touch the ball five times and score five goals”. I don’t like that, I want him to touch the ball more and more.
‘I like that he’s more involved, but don’t forget his biggest talent is to put the ball in the net. He has incredible instincts that the ball will arrive and it comes from his mum and dad, he was born with that.’
Haaland’s father, Alfie, was spotted dancing the ‘Poznan’ — where supporters turn their back on the game and bounce up and down — during the second half. Haaland and Foden both took a different match ball home with them.
Guardiola added: ‘We have this incredible sense that Erling always looks starving and is so competitive. The numbers are scary, honestly. He came here and realised, “Oh, these guys, my mates, run like an animal and I have to do it too”. He will have a break. There will be games he does not play.’
The Manchester City manager said: ‘Some players were not good today and have to improve’
Haaland believes a disappointing debut for City, in the Community Shield defeat by Liverpool, proved a catalyst for his stunning start.
‘My confidence is good, it’s always been good,’ Haaland said. ‘After we played against Liverpool in the Community Shield it was still good after. It was good that match happened, I thought: I have to be a bit more ready.
‘I felt before the (United) game that something special was going to happen and we saw today that some special things happened.
‘It was nice. On Friday, I felt it in the whole training ground. It’s these games I want to play in. These are the best games where there’s a bit extra.
‘It could’ve been more and in the second half we should’ve been tighter, worked a bit harder, because it was a bit sloppy at times. We lost the second half and this is not good so we still have to work.’