Why didn't Erling Haaland take Man City's penalty vs Aston Villa? Pep Guardiola to lay down the law after Riyad Mahrez and Rodri confusion

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Pep Guardiola has insisted that Erling Haaland is Manchester City's main penalty taker despite Riyad Mahrez netting from the spot against Aston Villa.
  • City won penalty thanks to Grealish
  • Haaland on the pitch but Mahrez takes it instead
  • Guardiola admits Haaland is designated taker

WHAT HAPPENED? Amid all the drama surrounding the club as a result of the financial charges imposed on them by the Premier League, City managed to put that mostly to one side for 90 minutes as they claimed a 3-1 win over Aston Villa. With the score a 2-0, however, Jack Grealish won a penalty and after some confusion, Mahrez was handed the ball and duly scored from 12 yards.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking after the game, Guardiola didn't sound entirely pleased about the situation as he confirmed that Haaland is still City's go-to man from the penalty spot.

"Normally Erling is the first taker. I wanted that but Riyad always tries to do it, Rodri was involved. I don't know what happened," the City boss told reporters. "Tomorrow we will speak with them. I like when people want to take penalties but always there is one that is the main one and that is Erling."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Before the penalty, Rodri took the ball off Mahrez and had an animated discussion with Ilkay Gundogan about who would take it. Haaland was also on the scene but the Algerian was ultimately entrusted with the opportunity and he didn't let his teammates down.


Riyad Mahrez Manchester City 2022-23


Erling Haaland Manchester City 2022-23

20230212 Pep Guardiola Erling Haaland

Getty Images

DID YOU KNOW? While City's record from the penalty spot is well-known to be inconsistent under Guardiola, Halaand has scored all four of his spot-kicks since joining in the summer and has missed just two in his entire career.

WHAT NEXT FOR CITY? Halaand may well have been disappointed to not be given the penalty and his frustration might have grown even more when he was subbed off at half-time due to injury. Guardiola has confirmed that the Norwegian has suffered a "big knock" that could keep him out of City's top of the table clash with Arsenal this week.