‘Special occasion’ - Pep Guardiola makes Erling Haaland claim after record-breaking goal

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Erling Haaland netted his 35th Premier League goal of the season to break the record for the most goals from a player in an individual campaign.

Pep Guardiola confirmed Erling Haaland’s guard of honour was pre-planned following Manchester City’s 3-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday.

The Norwegian netted his 35th goal of the Premier League season in the midweek victory, overtaking the previous record held jointly by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole. After the game, Guardiola was seen calling his players over to the touchline with Haaland then making his way through a guard of honour which had been formed by the squad and coaching staff.

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Speaking after the game, the City boss said it was something that was planned as it was a ‘special occasion’, before claiming Haaland’s extraordinary record will one day be broken.

“Of course [it was planned], when there is a special occasion we have to show how special it is. Today it was with Erling and to overcome the position of Andy Cole and Alan Shearer. They are incredible top strikers so it's special.

“I think he deserved it, all the team deserved it because without the team he couldn’t do it,” he continued. “We are very pleased for him, he is a joy - not just to work with him - everyone is happy to have him with us.

“Of course this record will be broken sooner or later, maybe by him in the future. He will score a lot of goals.”

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Guardiola also sent a pointed message to those who questioned Haaland’s output earlier in the season, or suggested he was struggling to adapt to English football.

“I remember when we lost against Liverpool in the Community Shield [in July] he will not adapt in the Premier League, you encourage as a journalist to make incredible comments.

The Etihad proudly celebrated Haaland’s achievement on Wednesday.The Etihad proudly celebrated Haaland’s achievement on Wednesday.
The Etihad proudly celebrated Haaland’s achievement on Wednesday. | Getty Images

“We don't know what is going to happen. Today is a good example. The first half he was not much involved the defensive structure of West Ham were exceptional but he doesn’t become desperate and anxious and nervous. He is calm.

“We talk all of us at half-time to realise this kind of situation so don’t be nervous, don't be anxious, be patient, don’t make a mistake behind and we were lucky to score early.”

The win means City move a point ahead of Arsenal in the title race, having played one game fewer than the Gunners, who drop to second.

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