MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola revealed he had replaced Erling Haaland at half-time in their midweek Champions League competition to rest him “for the next game”.
Haaland’s brace against FC Copenhagen on Wednesday saw Guardiola score the longest goal with Lionel Messi.
The Norwegian has prevailed at Manchester City, scoring 17 goals in his last nine games, with three hat-tricks and at least one goal in every game.
City host Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints in the Premier League on Saturday, with the Austrian under significant pressure to keep his job.
Asked if his decision to replace Haaland, who has scored three straight home hat-tricks in La Liga, with two goals was just to give him a rest at the break, Guardiola said: “Yes.
“The game was 3-0 and he played many minutes. Of course there are others, it’s good for the young players to play, Cole Palmer, because he’s an excellent player, that’s why.
“He will be rested for the next game.”
Guardiola added: “We played really well in all departments. Everyone was concentrated defensively and offensively and many, many players played at a high level. It’s the only way.
“Everyone is involved and everyone has to play well to help the team and try to win game after game.”
Kyle Walker’s World Cup spot could be in jeopardy as the England and Manchester City defender is sidelined with a stomach injury.
Walker missed City’s 5-0 Champions League win over FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night and Guardiola afterwards said he couldn’t give a timeline for how long he would be out as there were just six weeks until the start of the World Cup .
“It’s something belly and he’s going to be out for a while,” said Guardiola. “I do not know how long). I can’t say anything else.
“Kyle will be gone for a while. We need to talk to the doctors. Hopefully he can come (back for the Worlds) like Kalvin (Phillips).
“I know how important the World Cup is for the players, but to be honest I don’t know at the moment.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/23024215.guardiola-reveals-reason-behind-replacing-haaland-half-time-ahead-southampton-clash/?ref=rss Guardiola reveals the reason he replaced Haaland at half-time ahead of the Southampton clash