What Pep Guardiola said about Erling Haaland & title race v Arsenal after Man City 5-1 Wolves

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Erling Haaland’s four goals helped Manchester City close the gap at the top of the table to a single point.

Pep Guardiola praised Erling Haaland’s ‘exceptional’ performance after he scored four goals in Manchester City’s win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Norwegian led City to a 5-1 win, with Julian Alvarez getting in on the act in the latter stages. The four-goal haul also sees Haaland move five clear of his closest rivals (Cole Palmer and Alexander Isak) in the race for the Golden Boot.

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Haaland has faced some criticism at times in recent weeks, with Roy Keane claiming his hold-up play was like a ‘League Two player’, but he was back to his very best in the win over Wolves.

“Today he did it and against Nottingham Forest as well. He was injured [earlier in the year], important one, he’s so tall,” said Guardiola after the match. “To regain his best form you need time. It’s not like Jeremy [Doku] for example or Phil [Foden] or Julian [Alvarez], that in nothing can be ready.

“I'm happy for his performance and for his exceptional goals, in the penalty as well because sometimes they are not easy. But the second and the fourth were unbelievable. I’m really pleased for him.”

Despite the convincing victory at the Etihad, Guardiola said he was not delighted with the performance of his side at times. “The game, when you see the result, 5-1, people can see. I don’t have the feeling that was really good, especially in the first half we found the goals, but we lost a lot of simple balls,” claimed the former Barcelona manager.

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“But of course, with teams that make high pressing with the contact, with Phil, Kevin [De Bruyne] or Erling, we can run and always we are a danger team. 

“I give a lot of credit because the balls and the patterns they have, the quality and the pace they have with Hwang [Hee-chan] and [Matheus] Cunha is dangerous. They have quality with Joao Gomes, with [Mario] Lemina. They have good quality with the ball. 

“The victory is important and there is just one week left. One week, three games, nine points and we will be champions. Seven points, six points, three points and Arsenal will win the Premier League.”

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