Erling Haaland ‘proved critics wrong’

Edwin  - CEO February 20, 2024
Updated 2024/02/20 at 11:33 PM
6 Min Read
Erling Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City vs Brentford Photo credit: Manchester City Evening News
Erling Haaland celebrates scoring for Manchester City vs Brentford Photo credit: Manchester City Evening News

 Scores Man City goal after ‘incredibly tough’ week


Erling Haaland scores for Manchester City vs Brentford Photo credit: Manchester City Evening News


Manchester City beat Brentford in a tight game in the Premier League to close the gap on Liverpool FC, Joe Bray reports for Manchester City Evening News.


Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland ‘shut up’ his critics with his match-winning goal for Manchester City against Brentford.


City recorded 25 efforts on goal, with 11 on target against Brentford to follow 31 attempts against Chelsea on Saturday – of which nine fell Haaland’s way without resulting in a goal. Haaland was more clinical against Brentford but from fewer chances, ending his run of four games in five without a goal, sprinting free and converting past Mark Flekken.

Guardiola insisted there was nobody he would rather have had running past Kristoffer Ajer’s unfortunate slip, before advising anyone criticizing his performance against Chelsea that Haaland was always going to prove them wrong sooner or later.


Haaland lost his grandmother last week, and Guardiola accepted that his personal loss has naturally affected the striker. But he praised his striker for proving the difference between City and a stubborn Brentford side.

“Top scorers and strikers score a lot of goals, don’t criticize [them], because he will shut your mouth. Sooner or later always he is there,” Guardiola said of his striker, admitting he is still not back to his best physically.


“He was out for two months, he had an incredibly tough week last week – he lost his grandmother, it is not easy for a human being. He’s not in his best shape, it’s normal with two months [out].

“We spoke about the moment [Haaland’s bereavement] and I realised this later, but he didn’t say anything about the passing away of his grandmother. We talk about how he feels, of course for his father. In this type of games like Brentford, you need Erling. Today we could not use Kevin because he had niggles in his hamstring and I didn’t want to take risk.


“But this type of games, the second goal for example in Brentford was an assist from Kevin. You need these kind of players, but John and Manu were amazing today. They play amazing.”


Man City player ratings vs Brentford as Erling Haaland the hero


Erling Haaland scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Brentford in the Premier League, Simon Bajkowski reports for the Manchester City Evening News.


Manchester City won 1-0 against Brentford to move within touching distance of the top of the Premier League.


City had 17 shots in the first half at the Etihad but were frustrated by a dogged defensive performance from the West London club, who also had a speedy threat on the counter. However, with 20 minutes to go Erling Haaland stroked home his 22nd goal of an injury-hit season to ease the nerves and send the Blues towards a 14th win in 16 games in all competitions.

Mateo Kovacic and Jeremy Doku were both brought off the bench as Pep Guardiola looked to seal the victory. Here are how the players rated.


Ederson: Commanded his box and was more secure than the defenders in front of him to keep a rare clean sheet. 7


Walker: Plenty of attempts down the right wing that went nowhere, but he also put it on a plate for Silva with a good run to the back post. 7


Dias: Saw more of the ball than he normally would, although some misplaced passes at the back. 6

Stones: Started strongly showing composure all over the pitch, but his influence faded over time. 7


Akanji: Started off ok and tested Flekken in goal but the more time he spent on the ball the more he wasted it. 5

Rodri: Tried his best to influence the final third and made an important pass for the goal. 7


Foden: Of all the shots City attempted, his were some of the most dangerous as he came in from the right. 7


Alvarez: An assist to play the ball through for Haaland, but two good chances blazed over the bar in the first half. 6


Silva: A mixture of tidy and quiet, generally ok with what he was involved in but not involved enough. 6


Bobb: As good as anyone else on his first Premier League start and a clever touch nearly brought him a goal. 7


Haaland: The match winner with a trademark finish, along with some decent play coming back to work with teammates. 7


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