Manchester City winger Algerian international Riyad Mahrez defended his Norwegian teammate Erling Haaland after a 1-1 draw between City and Leipzig last Wednesday in the Champions League.
Recently, Haaland has been criticized for his poor scoring and lack of involvement in building games in Manchester City’s offensive line.
Mahrez said in statements published by the French newspaper L’Equipe: “Guardiola (Manchester City manager) is giving Haaland certain roles because he wants him to be more immersed in attacking depth.”
The Algerian player added: “Haaland is a strong and fast striker and we know his capabilities very well. He is not required to touch the ball 70 times in every match.”
In another context, Mahrez explained the reason for the draw against Leipzig in the first leg of matchday 16 of the Champions League, saying: “We were relatively tense in the final minutes and Guardiola asked us to calm down.”
He also said: “He (Guardiola) spoke to us on the pitch after the match. We have asked to remain calm for 90 minutes because Champions League matches are open to all possibilities.”
Mahrez concluded his remark: “We scored in the first half, dominated and scored a goal, but Leipzig were better in the second half and managed to draw.”