Erling Haaland’s amazing goal against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League reminded Pep Guardiola of a legendary Johan Cruyff goal for Barcelona from 1973.
The prolific Norwegian got on the end of a superb Joao Cancelo cross by leaping into the air and prodding home a volley which few other players could have reached, never mind scored with.
It was a remarkable goal for the immense player and the strike reminded Guardiola of one from a man who means an awful lot to him.
‘Maybe the people who know me, you know the influence Johan Cruyff had in my life,’ Guardiola told a press conference after the 2-1 win over Dortmund.
‘As a person, the education, manager, mentor, everything. Johan Cruyff years ago scored in the Camp Nou an incredible goal against Atletico Madrid and it was quite, quite, quite similar to Erling Haaland.
‘The moment he scored I thought about Johan Cruyff, it was quite similar. It was a really good one.
Guardiola was also keen to point out that the cross from Joao Cancelo was almost as good as the finish, saying: ‘The assist from Joao is exceptional. The finishing from Erling was exceptional.’
Haaland’s goal overshadowed an excellent strike from John Stones which levelled the score at 1-1 after Jude Bellingham had put the German team ahead.
Guardiola was pleased that his team managed to turn things around but was not happy with how they started.
‘We are used to doing it [comebacks] lately. I don’t like it,’ he told BT Sport. ‘We played in the wrong gear today. No aggression. We were passive.
‘The moment we changed rhythm with Phil [Foden], Bernardo [Silva] and Julian [Alvarez], we changed our pace and scored two excellent goals.
‘I’m pretty sure the way were playing in the first half John [Stones] wouldn’t have had the courage to try it [his shot but we had the rhythm and momentum and we said OK it’s going to happen. It was exceptional. I’m so happy for him.’
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