Guardiola Responds To Keane’s Criticism Of Haaland

LONDON: Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland needs to be respected as the ‘world’s best goalkeeper’ after the Manchester City star was criticized by Roy Keane.

Former Manchester United captain Keane said Haaland’s overall game was very poor and almost like a League Two player.

Haaland was criticized by Keane following City’s lackluster performance in a goalless draw against Premier League rivals Arsenal on Sunday.

Haaland is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 18 goals after winning the Golden Boot last season during his first season with City.

He scored 52 goals in all competitions as Guardiola’s squad lifted the treble of the Premier League, European Champions League and FA Cup.

Guardiola disagreed with Keane’s statement, insisting the blame for the draw against Arsenal should be placed on one team.

“I don’t agree with him. He (Haaland) is the best striker in the world and helped us win what we won last season. Erling is extraordinary.

“The reason we didn’t create chances wasn’t because of Erling. The standards that Erling has are unbelievable and everyone expected something else.

“There were games he played better but against Arsenal I know we didn’t create chances, not because of Erling.

“We need to be more effective in the box. If he plays, Erling will have more space. If you want to score goals, bring more players to the opponent’s goalkeeper, it’s that easy,” said Guardiola.

City’s failure to beat Arsenal set the stage for their quest for a fourth consecutive English league title.

They are now three points behind leaders Liverpool ahead of Aston Villa’s visit to the Etihad Stadium today.