Teamwork makes the dream work

Pep challenges Haaland to remain ‘relaxed’ for Metropolis success

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Pep Guardiola has instructed Erling Haaland “to loosen up” after questioning the Manchester Metropolis striker’s physique language in the course of the win over Everton.

Haaland scored each targets within the second half of the 2-0 victory on the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, however afterwards Guardiola mentioned the Norwegian’s physique language in the course of the first 45 minutes was “not good.”

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Metropolis resume their UEFA Champions League defence towards Copenhagen on Tuesday and forward of the sport, Haaland, who has returned after two months out with a foot harm, has been instructed by his supervisor to remain optimistic, even when he isn’t scoring.

“Erling is younger, taking part in in probably the most troublesome place on the pitch surrounded by 4 or 5 gamers with minor house,” Guardiola instructed a information convention on Monday. “Within the first half [against Everton] perhaps we did not have the particular supply gamers, like Kevin [De Bruyne] for instance, who can discover him. In that second he must be optimistic. It can come.

“When he scored a aim, he reacted however he would not want to attain as a result of he helps us for a lot of issues. Not simply rating a aim.

“Again [after two months out] isn’t simple and he is an enormous competitor who needs to attain targets. Okay, I do know that, we all know that, so loosen up.”

Metropolis head into the spherical of 16 of the Champions League as one in all solely two groups to win all six group stage video games together with Actual Madrid.

Guardiola’s crew are bidding to grow to be the primary facet since Actual Madrid’s three-peat in 2016, 2017 and 2018 to retain the trophy, and the 53-year-old says perception within the squad is increased after being topped champions of Europe final season.

“After I arrived eight years in the past I had the sensation perhaps this competitors was an excessive amount of for us,” mentioned Guardiola. “Our defeats and unhealthy moments helped us to develop up and being within the place we’re — two finals and one semifinal within the final three years — the entire membership has consciousness that we are able to attempt to be ourselves.

“Earlier than, I felt they had been saying ‘are you positive Pep? Are we able to do it?’

“Now the entire organisation believes we are able to do it.”

Copenhagen booked their place within the knockout rounds by coming by way of a bunch which additionally included Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Galatasaray.

United had been overwhelmed 4-3 at Parken Stadium and Bayern fell behind earlier than narrowly profitable 2-1.

Copenhagen have not performed a aggressive recreation since their last group recreation towards Galatasaray on Dec. 12 due to Denmark’s winter break however Metropolis defender Nathan Aké remains to be anticipating a troublesome night time.

“We all know it will be robust,” mentioned Aké. “The group they had been in was one of many hardest and to return out of that reveals what a high take a look at we’ll have. We received it final 12 months however it would not change the truth that we need to do the identical and go so far as attainable. It is most likely one of many hardest competitions on the earth.”

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