Pep Guardiola called Erling Haaland a natural goalscorer after he scored another hat-trick in Manchester City’s derby against Manchester United, stating: “I didn’t teach him what he does.”
Haaland continued his excellent start to life in England, playing a central role in City’s 6-3 victory over United to win the treble and add two assists to fellow hat-tricker Phil Foden.
The Norwegian, who has already scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, became the first player in Premier League history to score hat-tricks in three consecutive home games on Sunday.
Meanwhile, his five goals scored at the Etihad Stadium are a record for a player in a single Manchester Premier League derby.
Guardiola refused to credit himself as a striker after the victory, saying: “I have said many times and I will say again – what Erling does, he did in Norway, Austria and Germany.
“The quality we have around him helps him score, but what he does, I didn’t teach him.
“He has incredible instincts. It comes from his mom and dad. He was born with it.”
Erling Haaland goals per touch UPDATE:
one goal every 13.6 touches pic.twitter.com/De2iWJM9Cx
— Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) October 2, 2022
In addition to scoring two goals against Foden, Haaland created four scoring chances on Sunday and Guardiola was delighted with the quality of his play in the link.
“I’ve had incredible centre-forwards in my career,” Guardiola continued. “What I liked was that in the last period of the game he was involved. I want him to participate.
“He has become a goal-scoring player, but I want him to be in contact with the ball. I like that he is involved in such situations.
“But of course he has to get the ball into the net and he’s a fantastic striker.”
3 – Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, @ManCity third team to score two hat-tricks in the same match @Premier League Playing after Arsenal against Southampton in May 2003 (Jermain Pennant, Robert Pires) and Leicester against Southampton in October 2019 (Ayoze Perez, Jamie Vardy). Historical. pic.twitter.com/OfpU1yfkBV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2022
Haaland has started all 11 of City’s competitive games this season and Guardiola plans to give him a break at some point.
“He will take a break. There will be games that he is not going to play,” he said.
“We were lucky, last season he couldn’t play many games in a row – here we have incredible physios, and thanks to them he can play every 90 minutes.
“They are very important – with their hands they allow the players to play.”